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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 27, 2016:  The Commission board today decided to make no regulation changes recommended by a work group that extensively studied user conflicts with shellfish aquaculture cages in the Lynnhaven River and its tributaries in Virginia Beach and lifted a nine-month moratorium on the issuance of new shellfish leases in the area.  [Meeting Summary  |  Offender News Release]

September 26, 2016:
VDH has posted information regarding recent harmful algal blooms in lower York and lower James Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. [VDH Notice]

September 23, 2016:  VDH announced yesterday that due to sewage spills and generalized flooding into Nansemond River in the city of Suffolk, emergency Shellfish Closure # 063-008A “Nansemond River” has been issued effective September 22, 2016 through October 13, 2016. The Division of Shellfish Sanitation will be conducting monitoring of seawater and shellfish to determine if the area can safely be opened sooner. [VDH Notice]

August 23, 2016: 
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted unanimously to gradually reduce the number of licenses in the public oyster fishery over the next few years by prohibiting new entrants, requiring payment of the annual user fee to maintain eligibility and limiting license transfers only to direct family members or to a non-family member if the license holder can prove 40 days of oyster harvests in the previous season. While the oyster stocks have increased in recent years, the number of harvesters has jumped to more than 1,100 license holders. In other action, the Commission revoked a commercial waterman’s license for five years and imposed a $10,000 civil penalty for fishing commercially while under license revocation. It was the first time the Commission levied a civil penalty and the first time an offender’s license was revoked for the maximum period allowed under a law that went into effect last year. [Meeting Summary  |  Offender News Release



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VMRC in the News


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