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Public Notice:  Proposed Regulations, February 2013

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the proposed amendments to regulations listed below.  By February 11, 2013 the proposed draft regulation can be viewed at the Commission offices or on the Commission website at the following address:  http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/calendar.shtm

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, February 26, 2013, at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia.  Written comments on the proposals should be mailed to Robert L. O'Reilly, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607, by 5:00 p.m., Monday February 25, 2013. 

  1. Chapter 4VAC20-950-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Black Sea Bass".  To comply with interstate fishery management plan requirements, the Commission adopted Emergency Chapter 4VAC20-950-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Black Sea Bass" that lowered the recreational black sea bass fishery possession limit of 25 fish to 15 fish through the end of February 2013.  The provisions of this emergency regulation are proposed to be part of the final Chapter 4VAC20-950-10 et seq. at the February 26, 2013 Commission public hearing.

  2. Chapter 4VAC20-620-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Summer Flounder".  

    A.  The Commission will consider four options for management of the 2013 recreational summer flounder fishery.  The 2012 fishery was managed by a 16.5 inches minimum size limit, four fish possession limit, and no closed season.  The four options for the 2013 fishery are: 

    1)  16.5 inches minimum size limit, 4 fish possession limit and no closed season 
    2)  15.5 inches minimum size limit, 4 fish possession limit and no closed season 
    3)  16 inches minimum size limit, 4 fish possession limit and no closed season 
    4)  16.5 inches minimum size limit, 5 fish possession limit and no closed season 
    The purpose of this proposed amendment is to comply with interstate management plan requirements. 

    B.  To promote efficiency in utilization of the quota, the Commission will consider an industry request to increase the current landing limit of 10,000 pounds, from the commercial summer flounder fishery outside of Virginia, to 12,500 pounds per 15-day landing period, effective the first Monday in March.

  3. Chapter 4VAC20-530-10 et seq., "Pertaining to American Shad".

  4. The Commission will consider establishing a limited permitting system, for the American shad bycatch allowance fishery, to comply with interstate management plan requirements and to assign fishing permits in a fair and equitable manner.  A limited permitting system may involve previous participation or harvest of American shad, since 2006. 

  5. Chapter 4VAC20-270-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Crabbing".


  6. A)  To account for the various methods harvesters use to containerize the crab harvest, the Commission will consider options to supplement previously established license-specific crab pot bushel limits, for the upcoming 2013 crab pot season that begins March 16, 2013. 

    B)  To promote a reasonable conservation of the crab resource, the Commission will consider establishing per trip vessel limits for the crab harvest. 

  7. Chapter 4VAC20-610-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting".

    The Commission will consider options to limit the use of agents in the crab pot and peeler pot fisheries, to promote a fair and equitable utilization of this resource to ensure that overfishing does not occur.
     
  8. Expenditure from the Marine Fishing Improvement Fund.

    The Commission will consider two proposals to utilize the Marine Fishing Improvement Fund:

    1.  The Virginia Marine Products Board Proposal for Continuing to Test Market Chesapeake (Cownose) Ray, and
    2.  The Virginia Institute of Marine Science Proposal to determine male cownose ray movement after mating in the Chesapeake Bay.


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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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