Skip to Content
Agencies | Governor
Search Virginia.Gov
Contact Us |
Commissioner, John M.R. Bull

Commissioner’s Message

Welcome to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.  We serve as stewards of the Commonwealth’s marine and aquatic resources, and protectors of its tidal waters and homelands, for present and future generations.

We manage saltwater fishing, both recreational and commercial.  We work to create and maintain sustainable fisheries for the benefit of all anglers and the ecosystem.

We also manage water bottoms in public trust for the citizens of the Commonwealth.  Our Habitat Management Division works with those who wish to use them for piers or water-dependent projects.

Our Law Enforcement Division, the Virginia Marine Police, patrols the waterways to enforce the regulations and to assist citizens in need.

We take our duties seriously, striving always to serve the public in a professional, responsive and responsible way.

Please join us as protectors of our critical natural resources so that they remain for our children and grandchildren to enjoy them as we do.

Important Links

VMRC Regulations

Recreational Fishing Rules

Anglers Guide

What We Do

Agency News

September 22, 2015: The Virginia Marine Resources Commission today repealed regulations that would have established a limited entry system for the public oyster fishery. As a result, watermen will be able to keep their oyster hand scrape or dredge licenses. A limited entry system will be examined further in the months to come. [Commission Meeting Summary ]

September 19, 2015:
Governor Terry McAuliffe has proclaimed September 18-26, 2015 as National Estuaries Week in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the North America. Its health plays a vital role in Virginia’s economy, culture and in our important recreational and commercial tidal fisheries. Read Governor McAuliffe’s proclamation here and view a VMRC-produced video here.

August 26, 2015:  To protect the oyster stocks, the stability of the oyster fishery and future productivity of the public oyster beds, the Commission voted to prohibit harvesting on Fridays during the October – December 2015 oyster season. The Commission established bushel limits for the current season. For the 2016-17 oyster season, the Commission voted to limit entry into the oyster fishery starting on January 1, 2016. Licensees that reported less than 20 days of harvest during the 2013-14 and/or 2014/15 oyster harvest seasons become ineligible to gear licenses. Additional gear restrictions were adopted for both the upcoming season and new season beginning in 2016. [Commission Meeting Summary ]

August 7, 2015:  The tilefish/grouper recreational landing permit required for all vessels to land tilefish and grouper in Virginia has been available for several years at MRC license agents and can continue to be obtained at our license agents. As of Spring 2015, the permit can also obtained by the angler directly via a new online process; once the appropriate information is provided the no-cost permit is issued immediately via email. Note that Tilefish and Grouper Landing Permittees are required to submit a monthly harvest report to the Commission no later than the fifth day of the following month of harvest or fishing; web links to the paper reporting form and the Saltwater Journal online harvest reporting system follow. Note too that there is a one fish possession limit for grouper and a 7 fish possession limit for tilefish; use our saltwater fishing rules page to check on current recreational fishing rules, citation sizes and state records. [Online No-Cost Permit Process | VMRC License Agent Locations | Add Un-Registered Vessel Form | Paper Harvest Reporting Form | SWJ Online Reporting System | Saltwater Fishing Rules | Tilefish-Grouper Regulation

July 31, 2015: Effective 6:00 P.M., Eastern Daylight Savings Time, Friday, July 31, 2015, the commercial directed menhaden Haul Seine fishery will close. Based on landing reports from mandatory harvest reporting and Virginia seafood buyers, it is projected that Virginia will have harvested 100% of the 22,113 pounds of the directed menhaden haul seine quota, by the above date and time. [Closure Notice]

July 28, 2015:  The Virginia Marine Resources Commission today approved a no-cost, streamlined general permit for construction of living shoreline in order to protect waterfront properties.  This expedited permit option is now available to commercial and residential waterfront property owners.  Living shorelines provide valuable ecological benefits.  In other action, the Commission signaled it will consider potential reductions in wild caught oyster fishery participation in order to prevent overfishing and damage to public oyster stocks that are showing signs of reduced abundance.  [Commission Meeting Summary | Final Living Shoreline General Permit Regulation ]

July 22, 2015: 
the Commission will hold a public hearing at the July 28, 2015 Commission Meeting on a proposed general permit regulation to provide a streamlined permitting process for certain living shoreline treatments involving tidal wetlands. The public notice and the draft regulation can be found here: [Habitat Public Notice | Draft Regulation]

Click here for the news archive

VMRC in the News


Virginia Marine Resources Commission - Copyright © 1996-2015
Questions or Comments?  Email Web-Info
Site Index  Privacy Policy