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Commissioner, John M.R. Bull

Commissioner’s Message

Welcome to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.  We serve as stewards of the Commonwealth’s marine and aquatic resources, and protectors of its tidal waters and homelands, for present and future generations.

We manage saltwater fishing, both recreational and commercial.  We work to create and maintain sustainable fisheries for the benefit of all anglers and the ecosystem.

We also manage water bottoms in public trust for the citizens of the Commonwealth.  Our Habitat Management Division works with those who wish to use them for piers or water-dependent projects.

Our Law Enforcement Division, the Virginia Marine Police, patrols the waterways to enforce the regulations and to assist citizens in need.

We take our duties seriously, striving always to serve the public in a professional, responsive and responsible way.

Please join us as protectors of our critical natural resources so that they remain for our children and grandchildren to enjoy them as we do.


Important Links

VMRC Regulations

Recreational Fishing Rules

Anglers Guide

What We Do


Agency News

May 24, 2016: After a 4 ½ hour debate, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted today to not close the recreational cobia season in June, as requested by the National Marine Fisheries Service following unexpectedly high catch rates last year that likely indicates overfishing of the Georgia through New York stock of cobia. The Commission did raise the size limit from 37 to 40 inches, kept a one-fish per person possession limit, instituted a two-fish daily vessel limit, allowing only one of those fish to be more than 50 inches, for all vessels including for-hire (charter and head boats). The Commission also voted prohibited the gaffing of cobia by recreational anglers. In addition, the Commission decided to close the fishery on August 30 and will begin a reporting system for recreational anglers to report their cobia catches to the agency. The Commission had been requested by the National Marine Fisheries Service to close the recreational cobia fishery on June 20 because federal data showed the Georgia-New York allowable recreational catch of cobia was greatly exceeded in 2015 and Virginia alone caught the entire coastal quota.   [Meeting Summary License Revocations]

May 20, 2016:
Lynnhaven River Oyster Work Group will meet at the Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia beginning at 9:30 AM until approximately 12:00 noon. The meeting is open to the public.

May 18, 2016:Effective 6:00 P.M., Eastern Daylight Savings Time, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, the commercial directed menhaden gill net fishery will close. [Notice]

May 17, 2016:Effective Sunset, Tuesday, May 17, 2016, the Virginia horseshoe crab commercial dredge gear fishery will close. [Notice]

May 11, 2016:  Landing limit reduction for the 2016 Virginia horseshoe crab dredge fishery effective 12:00 P.M. (noon) Wednesday, May 11, 2016 [Notice] and Closure of Virginia’s 2016 scup summer period [Notice]

May 6, 2016:  The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Coastal Sharks Management Board approved Draft Addendum IV to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Coastal Sharks for public comment. The purpose of the Draft Addendum is to maintain consistency between federal and state FMPs, where possible, and to better incorporate into state regulations the intent of the limited fins-attached exception for smooth dogfish in the Shark Conservation Act of 2010.   VMRC will not hold a public hearing on this addendum, but anyone can make recommendations by contacting Ashton Harp, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at 703.842.0740 or aharp@asmfc.org. [ASMFC Press Release]

May 3, 2016: 
Effective Sunset, Wednesday, May 4, 2016, the Virginia horseshoe crab general category permit commercial fishery will close. [Closure Notice]



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