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Public Notice: PERTAINING TO ON-BOTTOM SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE ACTIVITIES November 1997

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Notice is hereby given that the Marine Resources Commission will consider the following Regulation 4VAC 20-335-10, ET. SEQ., "Pertaining to On-Bottom Shellfish Aquaculture Activities" at their November 25, 1997, hearing.

VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION
"PERTAINING TO ON-BOTTOM SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE ACTIVITIES"
REGULATION 4VAC 20-335-10, ET. SEQ.

PREAMBLE

 

The Commonwealth of Virginia has a long history of leasing State-owned submerged land for private shellfish culture and recognizes the potential economic and environmental benefits associated with increased shellfish production.

In recent years, some shellfish growers have begun using low-profile structures such as nets and trays to provide additional protection for the shellfish placed on their leased ground.

This regulation authorizes shellfish aquaculture structures that may be placed on and immediately above privately leased shellfish grounds without an individual permit from the Habitat Management Division of the Marine Resources Commission.

This regulation is promulgated pursuant to the authority contained in 28.2-103 and 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this regulation is to specify the criteria for shellfish aquaculture structures that may be employed on privately leased shellfish planting ground.

DEFINITIONS

Shellfish - Native molluscan species or molluscan species imported in accordance with 28.2-825 of the Virginia Code.

REQUIREMENTS AND CONDITIONS

A. The activity must be conducted on ground leased in accordance with Chapter 6 of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia.

B. Leased planting ground must be properly marked in accordance with 28.2-607 and subsequent regulations (4VAC20-290-10 ET. SEQ.).

C. In addition to the required marking of the boundary of the lease, the boundary of the area containing the structures shall be identified with markers meeting the description for markers identified in 4VAC20-290-30 while structures are located on the bottom.

D. Any structures placed on the bottom must be non-toxic and shall not be known to leach any materials which would violate any water quality standards set by the Department of Environmental Quality.

E. Structures shall not extend higher than 12 inches above the bottom substrate.

F. No new structures shall be placed on existing stands of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV).

G. No structures may cause more than a minimal adverse effect on navigation.

H. Shellfish must be harvested in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

I. The Commission may direct removal of any structures which fail to meet the requirements and conditions of this regulation.

The Commission will consider the proposed regulation and any other comments from individuals interested in this matter at a public hearing to be held at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, November 25, 1997. The public hearing will be held in the main office of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission on the 4th floor at 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Please submit written comments or questions regarding the proposed regulation to Mr. Robert W. Grabb, Chief, Habitat Management Division, P. O. 756, Newport News, Virginia, 23607-0756

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VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS DUE TO DISABILITIES, PLEASE ADVISE BARBARA CUNDIFF AT (757) 247-2259, NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.

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