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Public Notice:  Proposed Regulations, May 2015

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the establishment of amendments to regulations, as proposed below. By May 11, 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 regulations will be held at 12:00 noon, on Tuesday, May 26, 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, May 25, 2015. 

I. Chapter 4 VAC 20-490-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Sharks”

The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-490-10 et seq. to establish the spiny dogfish commercial harvest quota for the upcoming fishing season, May 1 through April 30.

The purpose of this amendment is to comply with the interstate fishery management plan for this species.

II. Chapters 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Crabbing”; 4 VAC 20-370-10 et seq., “Pertaining to the Culling of Crabs”; 4 VAC 20-752-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Blue Crab Sanctuary”; 4 VAC 20-1140-10 et seq., “Prohibition of Crab Dredging in Virginia Waters”

The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq., to revise the dates associated with season limits, the daily commercial bushel, vessel and possessions limits, for blue crab, as well as revise restrictions on the lawful harvesting dates on a gear-specific basis. In addition, staff requests to advertise a prohibition against allowing any person to act as both a commercial harvester and a buyer on any crab fishery trip.

The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-370-10 et seq., to allow possession of dark-colored sponge crabs as early as June 1. 

The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-752-10 et seq., to allow crabbing in Virginia Blue Crab Sanctuary Area 4, but only in the portion of that area that extends from Cape Henry Light southward to Rudee Inlet, thence seaward one-half nautical mile.

The Commission proposes to consider amending Chapter 4 VAC 20-752-10 et seq., by modifying the season closure to commercial and recreational crab harvesting in Area 1 and the season closure to commercial crab harvesting in Area 2 of the Blue Crab Sanctuary.

The Commission proposes to consider whether to close the commercial winter crab dredge fishing season, under Chapter 4 VAC 20-1140-10 et seq. The purpose of this consideration is in accordance with the provisions of Section 28.2-707 of the Code of Virginia.

III. Chapter 4 VAC 20-1290-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Relaying of Condemned Shellfish”; Chapter 4 VAC 20-1090-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Licensing Requirements and License Fees”

The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-1290-10 et seq. to establish a daily permit and associated daily fee for the harvest and relay of condemned shellfish. In addition, the Commission proposes to establish that fee as part of Chapter 4 VAC 20-1090-10 et seq.

The purpose of these amendments is to promote efficiency in utilization of fishery resources.

IV. Chapter 4 VAC 20-910-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Scup (Porgy)”

The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-910-10 et seq., by establishing the 2015 commercial scup summer period harvest quota as 13,646 pounds.

The purpose of this amendment is to comply with the interstate fishery management plan for this species.

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VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS BECAUSE OF A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE LINDA HANCOCK (757-247-8052) NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.





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