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Public Notice:  Proposed Regulations, February 2015

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the establishment of amendments to regulations, as proposed below. By February 9, 2015, the proposed draft regulations can be viewed at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia.

In accordance with Section 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed regulation will be held at 12:00 noon, on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia. Public comments on the proposals should be provided to Robert L. O’Reilly, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607, by 12:00 p.m., Monday February 23, 2015.

Chapter 4 VAC 20-450-10 et seq., “Pertaining to the Taking of Bluefish”.

On January 27, 2015, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission adopted, under its emergency regulatory authority (Section 28.2-210 of the Code of Virginia), amendments to this chapter that established the annual commercial bluefish quota as 608,230 pounds.

These emergency amendments are proposed as parts of the final regulation. The purpose of the amendments is to comply with the Interstate Fishery Management Plan requirements for bluefish.

Chapter 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Crabbing”.

The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq. to limit the use of fish pots by any individual who is an active crab pot or peeler pot fisherman. An active crab pot or peeler pot fisherman could be defined as an individual who has purchased their crab pot or peeler pot license or as an individual who has set crab pots or peeler pots. The Commission also proposes to amend the fish pot prohibition time period from March 11 through March 16 to March 12 through March 16.

The purpose of these amendments is to promote the welfare of the commercial blue crab industry.

Chapter 4 VAC 20-610-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting”.

The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-610-10 et seq. to limit and specify the annual number of blue crab fishery agents authorized in the blue crab fishery. Currently the limit for the number of blue crab fishery agents authorized in the blue crab fishery is year-specific.

The purpose of these amendments is to promote the welfare of the commercial blue crab industry.

Chapter 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Summer Flounder”.

The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq. to modify the start date for the directed landings period, when summer flounder from federal waters may be landed in Virginia, and lower the landing limit for that period from 12,500 pounds to an amount not less than 7,500 pounds.

The purpose of these amendments is to promote efficiency in the utilization of the commercial summer flounder quota, while taking into account variations along the Atlantic coast in market potential.

PUBLIC HEARING: The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment for the consideration of the removal of a portion of Additional Clam Grounds as previously set aside by the Commission in 1930, within the Ware River, in response to an application to lease oyster planting ground. A Public Hearing will be held on concerning this matter on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia. For additional information and/or to provide public comments on this matter contact Ben Stagg, VMRC Engineering/Surveying Department, Habitat Management Division, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607, by 12:00 p.m., Monday February 23, 2015. 

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VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS DUE TO A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE BETTY WARREN (757-247-2248) NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.



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