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Public Notice: Pertaining to Crabbing 2000

NOTICE

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on proposed amendments to Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-10 ET SEQ., "Pertaining to Crabbing". The proposed amendments, currently part of Emergency Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq. are shown below as underlined text in section 4 VAC 20-270-40.

The purposes of the proposed amendments are to allow for the conservation of crabs and to improve the enforceability of other laws pertaining to crabbing.

In accordance with 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the adoption of the proposed amendments will be held at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, March 28, 2000, 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, P. O. Box 756, Newport News, VA 23607. A copy of the proposed regulation may be reviewed at the Commission during Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 P.M. Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the proposed regulation may call the Commission at (757) 247-2248.

4 VAC 20-270-20. SUNDAY PROHIBITION: It shall be unlawful to take or catch crabs for commercial purposes on Sunday. This section shall not apply to the harvest of peeler crabs by crab traps or peeler pots or to the working of floats, pens, or onshore facilities for soft crab shedding operations.

4 VAC 20-270-30. DAILY TIME LIMITS: It shall be unlawful to take or catch crabs for commercial purposes between sunset and three hours before sunrise, provided; however, it shall be unlawful to take crabs by crab dredge between sunset and sunrise.

4 VAC 20-270-40. SEASON LIMITS:

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to place, set, or fish or knowingly leave any hard crab pot or peeler crab pot in any tidal waters of Virginia from December 1 through March 31.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person to place, set, or fish or knowingly leave any fish pot in any tidal waters during the March 27 through March 31 period, except as provided in subdivisions 1 and 2 of this subsection.

1) It shall be lawful for any person to place, set, or fish any fish pot in those waters located above the down-river boundary lines which establish the various spawning reaches, as described in 4 VAC 20-252-20.

2) The provision of this subsection shall not apply to lawful eel pots, as described in 4 VAC 20-500-50.

4 VAC 20-270-50. PEELER CRAB POT LIMITS.

It shall be unlawful for any person to place, set or fish or attempt to place, set, or fish more than 300 peeler crab pots.

4 VAC 20-270-55. MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT.

It shall be unlawful for any person to take, catch, have in possession or destroy in any manner any softshell blue crab which measures less than 3 1/2 across the shell from tip to tip of the longest spikes.

4 VAC 20-270-60. PENALTY.

As set forth in 28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter committed by the same person within 12 months of a prior violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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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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