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Public Notice: Pertaining to Horseshoe Crab


In accordance with §28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed amendments will be held at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, December 19, 2000, at the 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. Copies of the proposed amendments 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.

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS:

1) Establish a Horseshoe Crab Endorsement License (HCEL) required for the landing or possession of horseshoe crabs in excess of the by-catch limit (50 to 100 crabs). The HCEL would be limited to those vessels able to document the landing of at least 500 horseshoe crabs in 1998, 1999 or 2000.

2) Allocate 85% (129,621 horseshoe crabs) of Virginia's annual quota to those who hold a valid HCEL (HCEL quota) and allocate the remaining 15 % (22,874 horseshoe crabs) of Virginia's annual quota to by-catch fisheries (by-catch quota).

3) Establish a possession limit of 2000 to 5000 horseshoe crabs for HCEL holders. The possession limit would be reduced by 50 percent, at such time as 50 percent of the HCEL quota is projected and announced as landed.

4) Establish semiannual landing periods of January through June and July through
December and allocate 50 % of the HCEL quota to each period.

5) Require HCEL holders call-in to the NMFS Interactive-Voice-Response (IVR) System, within 24 hours of landing, with no offloading from 10 PM through 7 AM or require call-in to the IVR system prior to offloading but allow 24-hour offloading.

6) Require HCEL holders to sell only to a Virginia licensed seafood buyer who has registered with the NMFS Interactive-Voice-Response System. 

7) Establish a possession limit of 50 to 100 crabs for those fishers who do not qualify for an HCEL. 

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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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