HB1993: Oysters; shifts measurement to point of landing to enforce selling thereof.

HOUSE BILL NO. 1993
Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled January 5, 2007
A BILL to amend and reenact § 28.2-526 of the Code of Virginia, relating to oysters.
Patron-- Wittman

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 28.2-526 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 28.2-526. Oyster measures; standards; penalty.

A. It is unlawful for any person to buy or sell oysters in the shell by any measure other than one-half bushel or one bushel metallic measures except as provided in subsection B, C or D of this section. Such measures shall be iron circular tubs with straight sides and straight bottoms with holes, if desired, for draining one inch in diameter. A half-bushel tub shall have the following dimensions, all measured from inside to inside: fifteen inches across the top, thirteen inches across the bottom, and seventeen inches diagonally from the inside chine to the top; and a bushel tub shall measure 18 1/2 inches across the top, seventeen inches across the bottom, and 21 1/2 inches diagonally from the inside chine to the top. Oysters harvested from the public rocks in the Potomac River or its tributaries may be bought or sold in one bushel metallic measures which shall measure eighteen inches across the top, 16 1/2 inches across the bottom, and twenty-one inches diagonally from the inside chine to the top. Such metallic measure must be level full across the entire top of the measure to be considered a full measure.

Any seller of oysters or oyster shells who fails to furnish a full measure at the point of landing as defined in this section, or a buyer of any seed oysters or oyster shells who accepts less than a full measure as defined in this section, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Oysters may be sold in containers of a size greater than 18 1/2 inches across the top, seventeen inches across the bottom, and 21 1/2 inches diagonally from the inside chine to the top if such container has been approved by the Commissioner and its use to measure oysters has been approved by both the buyer and seller.

C. On the eastern or ocean side of the Eastern Shore, oysters may be sold without being measured if both the buyer and the seller agree to the number of bushels of oysters in the transaction.

D. Cultured oysters in the shell may be sold in any measure or container agreeable to the buyer and seller.