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Public Notice:  Proposed Regulation, March 2013

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the establishment of the regulation, as proposed below.  By March 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, March 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 March 25, 2013. 

Chapter 4VAC20-1270-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Atlantic Menhaden”.

The proposed regulations are designed to implement specific emergency legislative requirements, pertaining to menhaden, enacted by the General Assembly in its 2013 session to comply with requirements established by Amendment 2 to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden, for 2013 through 2014. 

Virginia law has been amended to respond to an ASMFC-mandated twenty percent reduction of the 2013 and 2014 total allowable landings of menhaden.  The Commission is required to establish regulations pertaining to menhaden to comply with these amendments.

A.  Section 28.2-400.2 of the Code of Virginia establishes the total allowable landings for menhaden in 2013 and 2014 in metric tons equivalent to 318,067,167 pounds.  Section 28.2-400.3 of the Code of Virginia authorizes the Commission to allocate this total amount among three sectors.  The purse seine menhaden reduction sector is allocated 286,396,768 pounds; the purse seine menhaden bait sector 26,648,870 pounds; and, the non-purse seine menhaden bait sector 5,021,528 pounds. 

The non-purse seine bait sector's allocation shall be distributed to any non-purse seine menhaden bait sector gear type, in proportion to the average landings for that licensed gear type from 2002 through 2011.  Any menhaden landings on and after January 1, 2013 count towards that particular sector’s 2013 quota.  Any overages of a sector’s quota shall be deducted from the following year’s quota for that sector.

B.  Section 28.2-400.1 of the Code of Virginia requires the Commission to establish and administer a limited entry purse seine menhaden bait license for applicants that held a purse seine license in 2011 and landed menhaden in Virginia in 2009, 2010 and 2011, while using purse seine gear to harvest menhaden in one of those three years.  Section 28.2-400.3 of the Code of Virginia requires the Commission to establish an individual transferable quota (ITQ) system for any purse seine menhaden bait licensee that meets these limited entry requirements, and the quota for this sector shall be allocated according to each licensee’s rounded percentage share of 2007 through 2011 menhaden landings.  Any licensee qualified under the ITQ system may transfer quota to another licensee’s ITQ, upon approval of the Commissioner.

C.  Section 28.2-400.5 of the Code of Virginia establishes reporting requirements to be administered by the Commission as follows:

1)  the purse seine menhaden reduction sector and purse seine menhaden bait sector shall submit Captain’s Daily Fishing Reports to the Commission;

2)  the non-purse seine menhaden bait sector shall submit daily reports according to the schedule and reporting requirements established by 4 VAC 20-610-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting.”; and,

3)  when it is projected and announced that 90 percent of the non-purse seine menhaden bait quota has been reached, each harvester of this sector shall be required to report his previous 10 days of landings to the Commission’s Interactive Voice Recording System, every 10 days after the date of the announcement.

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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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