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Public Notice: PERTAINING TO POUND NET LICENSE SALES

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on adoption of EMERGENCY REGULATION 4 VAC 20-600-10 ET. SEQ., "PERTAINING TO POUND NET LICENSE SALES", as a permanent regulation. This emergency regulation, set forth below, was adopted by the Commission at its May 27, 1997 meeting, in accordance with the provisions of §28.2-210 of the Code of Virginia, in order to maintain compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Management Plan for Weakfish (grey trout).

There are no substantive changes associated with this emergency regulation, in comparison to similar regulations which limited pound net license sales since August 1994. For your information, new regulatory language is underlined.

In accordance with §28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the adoption of the below listed emergency regulation as a permanent regulation will be held at 12:00 noon on June 24, 1997 at the office of the Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia. Written comments should be made prior to 12:00 noon on June 23, 1997 to Jack Travelstead, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, P. O. Box 756, Newport News, VA, 23607. Copies of the proposed regulation may be seen and copied at the offices of the Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, during Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the proposal may call the Commission at (757) 247-2248.

PREAMBLE

This emergency regulation limits the sale of pound net licenses for any calendar year to the number of pound nets licensed during calendar year 1994. which were sold on or before August 5, 1994.

This emergency regulation is promulgated pursuant to authority contained in §§28.2-210, 28.2-201 and 28.2-204.1 of the Code of Virginia. This emergency regulation amends and readopts previous Regulation 4 VAC 20-600-10 et seq. that was adopted on March 28, 1995 December 19, 1995 and was effective on April 7, 1995 January 1, 1996. The effective date of this emergency regulation is January 1, 1996May 28, 1997.

4 VAC 20-600-10. PURPOSE.

The purpose of this emergency chapter is to limit the number of pound net licenses for any calendar year to the number of pound net licenses sold on or after January 1, 1994, and through August 5, 1994. This chapter is part of recent restrictions adopted by the Marine Resources Commission in order to reduce the weakfish fishing mortality rate and to be consistent with federal and interstate management measures.

4 VAC 20-600-20. DEFINITIONS.

The following words and term, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Pound net" means a stationary or fixed fishing device consisting of several stakes or poles which have been pushed or pumped into the bottom and attached to netting which forms a straight wall or leader which serves to guide fish through a funnel and heart shaped enclosure into a terminal head or pocket with a netting floor.

4 VAC 20-600-30. LIMIT ON SALE OF LICENSES.

1. Except as provided in 4 VAC 20-600-40, the total number of pound net licenses issued for 1996 for any calendar year shall be limited to the number of pound net licenses sold on or before August 5, 1994, for calendar year 1994. No additional pound net licenses shall be sold for any calendar year 1996.

2. All eligible license renewals by those licensees who meet the requirements of subsection A of this section, applications for vacant locations, if available, and requests for transfer of license shall be made in accordance with 4 VAC 20-20-10 et seq.

4 VAC 20-600-40. EXCEPTIONS TO LIMIT ON POUND NET LICENSES.

Licenses issued for pound nets to be set in the following areas shall not be limited in number:

1. In the James River, upstream of a line connecting Scotland Wharf with Jamestown Wharf.

2. In the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers, upstream of the Route 33 bridges at West Point.

3. In the Rappahannock River, upstream of the Route 360 bridge at Tappahannock.

4. In the Virginia Potomac River tributaries, upstream of the Route 301 bridge.

4 VAC 20-600-50. PENALTY.

As provided in §§28.2­903 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.

* * * * * * * * * *

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 (804) 247-2248 NO LESS THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING TIME AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEED.

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