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  S.B. No. 2379
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to responsibility and criminal penalties for certain
  violations committed by commercial oyster boat crews.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 76.001, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 76.001.  DEFINITIONS [NATURAL OYSTER BED]. In this
  chapter:
               (1)  "Barrel of oysters" means three boxes of oysters
  in the shell or two gallons of shucked oysters without shells. The
  dimensions of a box are 10 inches by 20 inches by 13-1/2 inches. In
  filling a box for measurement, the oysters may not be piled more
  than 2-1/2 inches above the height of the box at the center.
               (2)  "Natural [(a)  A natural] oyster bed" means an
  area where [exists when] at least five barrels of oysters are found
  within 2,500 square feet of any position on a reef or bed.
               (3)  "Open season" means a period during which it is
  lawful to take oysters.
         [(b)     In this section, a barrel of oysters is equal to three
  boxes of oysters in the shell. The dimensions of a box are 10 inches
  by 20 inches by 13-1/2 inches. In filling a box for measurement,
  the oysters may not be piled more than 2-1/2 inches above the height
  of the box at the center. Two gallons of shucked oysters without
  shells equals one barrel of oysters in the shell.]
         SECTION 2.  Subsection (a), Section 76.116, Parks and
  Wildlife Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  There is no open season for taking oysters from areas
  closed by the [Texas] Department of State Health Services.
         SECTION 3.  Section 76.118, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended by amending Subsections (b), (c), and (e) and adding
  Subsection (e-1) to read as follows:
         (b)  A person who violates Section 76.101, 76.107, or
  76.109[, or 76.116 of this code] or a regulation of the commission
  issued under one of those sections commits an offense that is a
  Class B Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.
         (c)  A person who violates Section 76.116, or at the same
  time violates Sections [Section] 76.109 and [either Section]
  76.116, [or Section 76.205 of this code] commits an offense that is
  a Class A Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.
         (e)  If it is shown at the trial of a defendant for a
  violation of Section 76.101, 76.107, or 76.109[, or 76.116 of this
  code] that the defendant has been convicted once within five years
  before the trial date of a violation of Section 76.101, 76.107, or
  76.109, [or 76.116 of this code,] the defendant is guilty of a Class
  A Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.
         (e-1)  If it is shown at the trial of a defendant for a
  violation of Section 76.116 that the defendant has been convicted
  once within five years before the trial date of a violation of
  Section 76.116, the defendant is guilty of a Parks and Wildlife Code
  state jail felony.
         SECTION 4.  Subsection (a), Section 76.119, Parks and
  Wildlife Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  If a vessel licensed as a commercial oyster boat is
  involved in a violation of this chapter, the captain of the vessel
  licensed as a commercial oyster boat is primarily responsible for
  the violation. A member of the crew of a vessel licensed as a
  commercial oyster boat is not guilty of a violation unless the
  member of the crew committed the violation against the captain's
  orders, except for a violation of Section 76.109 or 76.116 [of this
  subchapter], in which case each person on the vessel is responsible
  for the violation.
         SECTION 5.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act.
  An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is
  covered by the law in effect when the offense was committed. For
  purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the
  effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred
  before that date.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 2379 passed the Senate on
  April 24, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 2379 passed the House on
  May 15, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 144, Nays 0, one
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor