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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

December 12, 2014:  The Commission has added a new web site feature that displays notices and associated location maps for pending applications for proposed shellfish leases. Shellfish grounds leasing requests have greatly increased over the last three years and, in addition to providing for the already required Code of Virginia notice requirements, this new feature will provide the public with another easy way to access pending lease application information and locations. [Pending Oyster Lease Applications

December 9, 2014:
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission took a number of steps today in order to comply with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s amended Interstate Striped Bass Management Plan: Lowered the creel limit from two to one stripers per person per day in the recreational coastal fishery as of Jan. 1, 2015; Instituted a new, no-cost recreational permit and mandatory reporting requirements for those recreational anglers who fish for trophy-sized stripers from May 1 through June 15; Reduced the annual commercial striped bass coastal quota by 25 percent, and enacted a 20.5 percent reduction in the commercial harvest quota for stripers in the Bay, both measures for the 2015 season. [Meeting Summary]

December 2, 2014: 
Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed an Executive Order continuing the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, a network of Virginia state agencies and local governments designed to protect the natural and economic assets located within Virginia’s coastal regions. [Press Release]

November 26, 2014: 
the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will close the commercial fishery for Atlantic aggregated large coastal sharks and hammerhead sharks at 11:30 p.m. local time on November 30, 2014. Therefore, in accordance with Section 4.3.4, Quota Specification, of the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for Atlantic Coastal Sharks (FMP), effective 11:30 p.m. local time November 30, 2014, states are required to prohibit the commercial landing, harvest, and possession of these shark species.  State water commercial fisheries for these shark species will reopen when the NMFS reopens federal waters for commercial fishing. ASMFC will issue notice of the opening dates once they become available in the 2014 shark quotas and seasons final rule. [NOAA Closure Notice]

November 19, 2014: 
VDH announces online training for shellfish dealers. The training is mandatory for dealers to obtain 2015 VDH shellfish permits. [Training Announcement

November 3, 2014: 
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that November is Virginia Oyster Month. Visitors and Virginians alike are encouraged to experience the fresh wild-caught and farm-raised oysters from Virginia's seven different oyster regions throughout the month of November, as well as participate in the numerous oyster festivals and events around the Commonwealth. [Press Release]

October 28, 2014: 
In the face of continuing budget shortfalls, the Commission unanimously voted to raise the saltwater recreational license fees for just the third time since 1993, to allow for the continuation of core recreational programs including recreational law enforcement, the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, the Game Fish Tagging Program, and the Artificial Reef Program. [Meeting Summary]

ber 15, 2014:   Final in-person shellfish training dates announced; the National Shellfish Sanitation Program guidelines now require training and education programs for all shellfish harvesters and certified dealers. Completion of the training is a pre-requisite for licensing. The intent is to increase the awareness of temperature control and food handling practices for shellfish to minimize growth of Vibrio bacteria. [Final In-Person Training Dates] [Online Training Link]

October 9, 2014:
Effective 6:00 P.M., Eastern Daylight Savings Time, Friday, October 10, 2014, the commercial menhaden pound net fishery will close. [Closure Notice]

September 23, 2014:  The Marine Resources Commission today signaled its intent to raise Saltwater Recreational License fees effective January 1, 2015. The fees have not been raised for a number of years, and the increases are needed to preserve important angler programs in the face of impending State budget cuts. Also the Commission revoked the commercial fishing licenses of four watermen, for periods of six months to one year, for egregious violations. [Meeting Summary] [Repeat Offender Press Release]

September 5, 2014: 
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission have scheduled a series of scoping hearings to gather public input on the range of issues and information to be considered in the Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment. The Virginia hearing will be held on Tuesday, 10/14/14 at 6PM at the Commission Main Office, 4rth Floor Commission Room.  [Notice]

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VMRC in the News


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