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Public Notice: Proposed Amendments to Regulations, December 2009


The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the proposed amendments to regulations listed below.

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, December 15, 2009, 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, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607, by 5:00 p.m., Monday, December 14, 2009.  Copies of the proposed regulations may be reviewed, at the Commission, Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and may be obtained by calling the Commission at (757) 247-2248.

A)  Chapter 4 VAC20-900-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Horseshoe Crabs"

The Commission proposes to reduce the 2010 horseshoe crab harvest quota in response to the 2009 harvest overage.  The Commission also proposes amending Regulation 4 VAC20-900-10 et seq. to enhance management and harvest control measures within the fishery, to include:

    a) reduce the landing limit trigger from 85% to 50%;
    b) establish a horseshoe crab bycatch permit;
    c) establish daily call-in requirements for buyers;
    d) increase the frequency of buyer's reports from monthly to weekly;
    e) establish a separate quota management area for waters east of the COLREGS line; and, 
     f) establish separate landing limit triggers and provisions for quota overage payback for waters east of the COLREGS line.

B)  Regulations 4 VAC20-610-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Reporting" and 4 VAC20-670-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Recreational Gear Licenses"

The Commission proposes to require recreational gill net, recreational crab pot, and recreational trot line licensees to submit monthly and daily harvest reports.  The purpose of this amendment is to merge the recreational and commercial reporting programs to provide for improved data acquisition and more efficient use of staff resources.

The Commission also proposes to: 1) require commercial harvesters to report when using an agent to harvest; 2) limit the number of helpers reported by a Commercial Fisherman Registration Licensee to five; and 3) provide guidelines for the Commission to use, in non-compliance with mandatory reporting cases, that are linked to the severity of those non-compliance violations.

C)  Chapter 4VAC20-20-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the Licensing of Fixed Fishing Devices"

The Commission proposes that in order to maintain priority rights and renew a license to a specific pound net location a pound net licensee shall be required to set and fish that pound net, at least once during two consecutive calendar years, starting with calendar year 2009.  Currently, pound net licensees are required to set and fish any pound net on a calendar-year basis, in order to maintain priority rights and renew a license to a specific pound net location.  The purpose of the amendment is to minimize regulatory burden.

D)  Emergency Chapter 4 VAC20-490-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Sharks"

On November 24, 2009, the Commission adopted, under its emergency regulatory authority (Section 28.2-210 of the Code of Virginia), an emergency amendment to Chapter 4 VAC 20-490-10 et seq. that makes it unlawful to transfer any Spiny Dogfish Limited Entry Permit.  The effective date of this emergency amendment is November 24, 2009.  The Commission proposes to make this emergency amendment, described below, a permanent part of this chapter.

Subdivision 4 VAC20-490-44 B of this emergency regulation shall make unlawful the transfer of Spiny Dogfish Limited Entry Permits as of November 24, 2009. 


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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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