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Public Notice: Pertaining to crab pot license sales, possession of elvers, and American shad

NOTICE

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on several proposed regulations, described below, pertaining to crab pot license sales, possession of elvers, and American shad.

In accordance with 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed regulations will be held at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, February 24, 1998 at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia. Written comments on any proposed regulation should be mailed to Jack Travelstead, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, P. O. Box 756, Newport News, VA 23607. A copy of the proposed regulations 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 any proposed regulation may call the Commission at (757) 247-2248.

Amendments of Regulation 4 VAC 20-880-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Hard Crab and Peeler Pot License Sales."

The Commission proposes to continue the limits and exceptions imposed on the issuance of crab pot and peeler pot licenses for 1998. The Commission further proposes to allow a limited number of fishermen holding 1997 licenses for up to 100 crab pots to upgrade to an up to 300 crab pot license in 1998. The Commission will establish criteria consisting of prior license history and prior days worked which a fisherman must meet to be eligible for the upgrade to 300 crab pots.

The purpose of the proposed amendments is to continue the controls on crab pot and peeler pot effort and to prevent significant increases in crabbing effort, while allowing individuals with a significant prior history in the fishery to upgrade their crab pot licenses.

Amendment to Regulation 4 VAC 20-500-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the Catching of Eels."

The Commission proposes to clarify restrictions on the taking of elvers (eels less than six inches in length) by making it unlawful for a person to possess any elver, regardless of where it was harvested. The current regulation makes it unlawful to take elvers from Virginia waters.

The purpose of the proposed amendment is to improve enforcement of the prohibition on elver possession.

Amendment to Regulation 4 VAC 20-530-10 et seq., "Pertaining to American Shad."

The Commission will consider amendments to this regulation to establish a fishery for American shad in Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in 1998. The Commission will consider additional amendments to restrict the harvest of American shad from Virginia's portion of the Territorial Sea, including a total moratorium on the harvest of American shad from ocean waters.

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 VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS 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 NEEDS

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