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Public Notice:  Proposed Regulations, December 2012

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the proposed amendments to regulations listed below.  By November 25, 2012 the proposed draft regulations 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 Monday, December 10, 2012, 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., Friday, December 7, 2012. 

  1. To conserve a limited commercial horseshoe crab quota and promote efficiency, the Commission proposes amendments to Chapter 4 VAC20-900-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Horseshoe Crabs", that would increase the 2013 total annual quota to 172,828 horseshoe crabs; establish a male-only quota of 81,331 horseshoe crabs east of the COLREGS line; and establish quota permit categories, a limited entry system, and transfer requirements.


  2. To minimize regulatory burden on aquaculture enterprises, the Commission proposes amendments to Chapter 4 VAC20-610-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting", that would reclassify the current requirements for reporting and permitting of aquaculture product owners and harvesters.



  3. To achieve compliance with the Interstate Fishery Management Plan, the Commission proposes to establish amendments to Chapter 4 VAC20-252-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Striped Bass", that would reduce each of the recreational and commercial striped bass harvest quotas to 1,230,110 pounds; open the commercial harvest season on January 16; and, establish new quota transfer requirements. The Commission also proposes amendments to Chapter 4 VAC20-751-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Setting and Mesh Size of Gill Nets", to allow legally licensed commercial striped bass harvesters to set or fish any gill net with a stretched mesh size from five inches to six inches, from January 16 through the last day in February, within prescribed regulatory restricted areas.


  4. To address the overage of the 2012 coast-wide recreational harvest limit, the Commission enacted an Emergency Chapter 4VAC20-950-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Black Sea Bass" that closed the 2012 recreational black sea bass fishery at its November 19, 2012 meeting.  This emergency regulation will be part of a December 10, 2012, public hearing, that will include proposals to allow recreational harvest of black sea bass during January and February 2013 and to increase the total commercial landing quota to 356,000 pounds in 2013.


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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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