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Public Notice: Pertaining to Crabbing

NOTICE

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on proposed amendments to Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Crabbing", Regulations 4 VAC 20-700-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Crab Pots, and Regulation 4 VAC 20-1040-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Crabbing Licenses and Tags". The purposes of these proposed amendments are to reduce effort in the hard crab and peeler crab fisheries, increase the size of the spawning stock of blue crabs, reduce the possibility of overfishing this resource, and promote economic efficiency.

In accordance with 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the adoption of the proposed amendments will be held at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, October 26, 1999, at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia. Written comments on the proposals should be mailed to: Jack Travelstead, VMRC, Fisheries Management Division, P. O. Box 756, Newport News, Virginia 23607. A copy of the proposed regulations may be reviewed at the Commission, Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the proposed regulations may call the Commission at (757) 247-2248.

The Proposed Regulations Include the Following:

A. A reduction in effort in the peeler pot fishery, to achieve a limit of 200,000 peeler pots. The Commission will consider regulations to reduce effort in the fishery, including, but not limited to, a reduction in the number of peeler pots per person or per vessel and seasonal adjustments to these limits, reductions in the number of peeler pot licenses issued, and elimination of certain peeler pot licenses not previously utilized by the current license holder.

Currently, it is unlawful for any person to place, set or fish more than 400 peeler crab pots per vessel, from April 1 through June 30. From July 1 through November 30, it is unlawful for any person to place, set or fish more than 400 peeler pots, and it is unlawful for more than two peeler pot licensees to place, set or fish peeler pots from the same vessel.

B. A requirement that the large-size (2 5/16-inch inside diameter) cull ring in any hard crab pot set or fished in the mainstem of Chesapeake Bay remain open and unobstructed at all times.

C. A reduction in potential effort in the hard crab pot fishery. The Commission will consider regulations to reduce effort in the fishery, including, but not limited to, a reduction in the number of crab pot licenses issued, elimination of certain licenses not previously utilized by the current license holder, and a reduction in the number of crab pots per license holder.

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VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION DUE TO A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE DEBORAH CAWTHON (757) 247-2248 NO LESS THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING TIME AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEED.

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