Skip to Content
Agencies | Governor
Search Virginia.Gov
Contact Us |

Commercial Fisheries Permitting and/or Limited Entry Processes

Commercial Fisheries Permitting and/or Limited Entry Processes

In addition to the purchase of licenses, commercial fishing related to the following species, gear types and fishing areas require special free permits or authorization letters. These permits and letters must be obtained prior to the participation in the fishery.

* American Shad Permits

* Black Drum Permit: Harvesters and Buyers

* Black Sea Bass Permits

* Commercial Hook & Line Limited Entry

* Conch Pot (channeled whelk) Permit (see Regulation 4VAC 20-890-10 et seq.)

* Containerized Relay of Shellfish from Polluted Bottom Permit

* Experimental Fishery and Scientific Collection Permits

* Gill Net Permit

* Shellfish Management Area Permits: York River, Poquoson River and Back River

* Shellfish harvest permits (general permits to harvest, private ground dredge permits)

* Striped Bass Permits

* Summer Flounder Endorsement License

* Pound Net Siting Public Review Process.

* Placement of Temporary Shellfish Aquaculture Enclosures on Leased Ground

* Charter Fishing and Guides License

 


*******************************************************************

*******************************************************************

BLACK DRUM HARVESTER PERMITS

The commercial black drum fishery is a limited entry fishery.  Only those commercial watermen who have participated in the commercial black drum fishery for two years from 1987 until 1993 and subsequent years may qualify for the commercial black drum fishery permit.  The Plans and Statistics Department of the Fisheries Management Division issues the commercial black drum permits.  The Commission does review special hardship exceptions.

Registered commercial watermen, who qualify, are mailed applications at the beginning of the calendar year.  Pervious year Black Drum Harvester Permit holders are automatically issued permits.  They do not need to reapply for the permit.  However if they have not received permit by February 15, they may wish to inquire about their permit status.  If you have not received your application and you qualify, please call (757) 247-2115 or e-mail Samantha Hoover (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message).

Fishers wanting a Black Drum Harvester Permit may apply and receive a permit at any time of the year as long as they meet all three conditions below.  However they may wish to apply prior to February 15 in case they do not meet the three conditions.  If they do not qualify, they may request an exception.  Fishers will be issued a Black Drum Harvester Permit if:

1.  The applicant shall be a registered commercial fishermen and shall have held a Black Drum Harvester Permit in at least one year from 1988 to 1993; 

2.  The applicant shall have documented catch of Black Drum in at least one year for which a Black Drum Permit was held from 1988 to 1993, and 

3.  The applicant shall have reported, in accordance with this regulation, any Black Drum fishery activity in 1992 and 1993 if a Black Drum Harvester Permit was held in those years. 

If the fisher is denied a Black Drum Harvester Permit for failure to meet the above conditions, or does not meet the above conditions, the fisher may apply for an exception.  The Marine Resource Commission may grant exceptions to the limited entry criteria listed above based upon scientific, economic, biological, sociological, and hardship factors.  Any person requesting an exception shall provide in writing an explanation for exception and all pertinent information relating to the criteria above.  All exception requests must be received by the Marine Resource Commission prior to 1 March of the year for which a permit is requested. 

BLACK DRUM BUYER PERMITS

Black Drum Buyer Permits are available to all Virginia license seafood buyers upon request.  Please send all correspondence on Black Drum to (757) 247-2115 or e-mail Samantha Hoover.

COMMERCIAL BLACK DRUM FISHERY SUMMARY

TO CATCH AND SELL BLACK DRUM

Commercial Registration: Required

Gear License: Required

Permit: Required

Entry: Limited

Reporting: Monthly Report

Quota: 120,000 Pounds A Year

TO BUY AND SELL BLACK DRUM

Seafood Buyer's License: Required (Not Required for Restaurants)

Permit: Required

Entry: Not Limited

Reporting: Weekly Report

IMPORTANT DATES

February 15: Should Have Received Black Drum Permit

March 1: Deadline To Get In Exception Request For Entry Into Fishery

The 4th Tuesday of March: Commission Meeting That Hears Exception Requests

December 31: Last Black Drum Report Should Be Mailed

*******************************************************************

CONCH POT (Channeled Whelk) Permit

The sale of commercial Conch Pot Licenses is limited to registered commercial fishermen, solely for the harvest of channeled whelk from Virginia waters. If you are interested in obtaining a conch pot permit contact Rob O'Reilly  at  (757) 247-2236 or e-mail Joe Grist (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message)

*******************************************************************

EXPERIMENTAL FISHERY PERMITS

Anyone wishing to participate in an experimental fishery must first obtain a permit. The Fisheries Management Division and Conservation and Replenishment Division issue all experimental fishery permits. Section 28.2-205 of the Code of Virginia makes it unlawful for any person to remove from the waters of the Commonwealth under the jurisdiction of the Marine Resources Commission any marine fish, marine shellfish, or marine organisms for technical research, scientific education or museum purposes without having first obtained from the Commissioner a collection permit.

The issuance of a permit shall be governed by applicable Commission regulation and shall be subject to any reasonable terms and conditions imposed by the Commissioner.

Each year, the Commissioner approves approximately 115 scientific collection permits.  A majority of these permits are granted to educational institutions for research purposes.  For experimental oyster permits, call (757) 247-2121 or e-mail Jim Wesson (jim.wesson@mrc.virginia.gov).  All other scientific collection permit requests must be addressed to Commissioner Travelstead, and should be directed to Michele Guilford (michele.guilford@mrc.virginia.gov or 757-247-2206).  Requests should include the species to be collected, the purpose and disposition of collections, and personnel and vessel(s) to be covered under the permit.  For more information on how to apply for a scientific collection permit, please contact Sally Roman (sally.roman@mrc.virginia.gov or 757-247-2069).

*******************************************************************

GILL NET PERMITS

In order to commercially gill net in Virginia, licensed fishermen must first obtain either a Class A Resident gill net permit, a Class A Non-Resident gill net permit, or a Class B gill net permit before purchasing a gill net licenses according to Regulation 4VAC20-1190-10 et seq. “Pertaining to Gill Net Control Date”.  Call (757) 247-2243 or e-mail Ande Ehlen (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message) for more information on obtaining these permits.


*******************************************************************

STRIPED BASS PERMITS

The commercial striped bass fishery has limited entry.  Criteria to participate in the commercial striped bass fishery is specified by VMRC Regulation 4 VAC20-252-10 et. seq.. (757) 247-2243 or e-mail Ande Ehlen (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message) for more information on obtaining a striped bass Bay or Ocean permit.

For information on Buyer Permits call (757) 247-2243 or e-mail Ande Ehlen.  You must purchase your seafood buyer license before requesting a permit. 

For information on Charter Boat Permits call (757) 247-2243 or e-mail Ande Ehlen.  You must purchase your charter boat and guides licenses before requesting a permit.  

Striped bass aquaculture permits:  criteria to obtain an aquaculture permit is specified by VMRC Regulation 4 VAC20-252-10 et. seq..  Call (757) 247-2243 or e-mail Ande Ehlen. (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message) for more information on the permit.  The striped bass aquaculture permit application can be found on our forms page


*******************************************************************

BLACK SEA BASS PERMITS

The commercial black sea bass fishery has limited entry. Criteria to participate in the commercial black sea bass fishery is specified by VMRC Regulation 4 VAC20-950-10 et. seq.. Call (757) 247-2244 or  e-mail Rachael Maulorico (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message) for more information on obtaining a black sea bass Directed or Bycatch permit.


*******************************************************************

SUMMER FLOUNDER ENDORSEMENT LICENSE

 In order to land summer flounder in Virginia for commercial purposes, Regulation 4 VAC20-920-10 et.seq., "Pertaining to Landing Licenses" requires that commercial fisherman that not holding a VA Commercial Registration License or a PRFC commercial fishing license purchase a Seafood Landing License and obtain a no-cost Summer Flounder Endorsement License.  e-mail Samantha Hoover or call (757) 247-2115 (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message) for more information on obtaining these licenses.


*******************************************************************

COMMERCIAL SHAD PERMITS

In order to commercially harvest American shad in Virginia, Regulation 4 VAC20-530-10 et.seq., "Pertaining to American Shad" requires that commercial fisherman obtain a no-cost permit.  Call (757) 247-2243 or e-mail Ande Ehlen (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message) for more information on obtaining these permits.  Reminder:  there is a moratorium on all commercial harvest in the ocean; commercial shad fishing is only allowed in specific areas of the Chesapeake Bay with the above referenced permit and any other required licenses.  The American shad permit application form:  [Form]


*******************************************************************

HORSESHOE CRAB ENDORSEMENT LICENSES

In order to commercially harvest horseshoe crabs in Virginia, including catch & release for biomedical purposes, Regulation 4 VAC20-900-10 et.seq., "Pertaining to Horseshoe Crabs" requires that commercial fisherman obtain a no-cost permit.  Call (757) 247-2244 or  e-mail Rachael Maulorico  (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message) for more information on obtaining these permits.  

*******************************************************************

COMMERCIAL HOOK & LINE LIMITED ENTRY

Use of hook & line for commercial purposes is subject to a limited entry program as described in Regulation 4 VAC20-995-10 et.seq., "Pertaining to Commercial Hook and Line Fishing".  With the exception of striped bass permit holders, no new entrants to this fishery are allowed unless a current commercial hook&line licensee gives up their license.  Call (757) 247-2243 or e-mail Ande Ehlen. (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message) for more information on obtaining these permits.  

*******************************************************************

CONTAINERIZED RELAY OF SHELLFISH

Regulation 4 VAC20-310-10 et.seq., "Pertaining to Shellfish Relaying" establishes rules for the containerized relaying of shellfish.  Call (757) 247-2237 or e-mail Joe Cimino (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message) for more information on obtaining these permits.  

*******************************************************************

SHELLFISH HARVEST PERMITS

Harvest of shellfish for commercial or recreational purposes is governed by a variety of rules.  Please check with the Law Enforcement Office in the area you wish to harvest shellfish in to find out about open areas, open seasons, shellfish condemnation areas, required licenses and permits, and other rules.  Click here to get Law Enforcement contact information. 

*******************************************************************

SHELLFISH MANAGEMENT AREA PERMITS:

SHELLFISH MANAGEMENT AREAS

I. The purpose of establishing shellfish management areas is to protect and promote the shellfish in the designated areas. These areas include parts of the following rivers:

YORK RIVER SHELLFISH MANAGEMENT AREA

1. York River - this area consists of all public grounds located inshore of a line beginning at the entrance to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science boat basin at Gloucester Point, running Northwesterly to Buoy #30, thence Northwesterly to Buoy #32, thence Northwesterly to Buoy #34, then Northwesterly to Pages Rock Buoy, thence Northwesterly and ending at Clay Bank Wharf.

POQUOSON RIVER SHELLFISH MANAGEMENT AREA

2. Poquoson River - this area consists of all public grounds bounded by a line beginning at Hunts Point Survey Taylor and running Northwesterly to Survey Station Spit, thence Northeasterly to Survey Station Cabin North, thence East to Survey Station Cabin South, thence Southeasterly following the general shoreline (not to include any creeks or canals) to the flag pole near Survey Station 80 at York Point, thence 175 degrees to Day Marker #14 and returning to Hunts Point Survey Taylor.

BACK RIVER SHELLFISH MANAGEMENT AREA

3. Back River - this area consists of all current public clamming grounds bounded by a line from, corner 3 on Shell Plant 115 through corner 17, a daymarker, on Shell Plant 115, 237.42 feet to a point being the point of beginning; thence Southeasterly to corner number 1 Public Clamming Ground (PCG#12); thence Southeasterly to corner number 3A Public Clamming Ground (PCG#12); thence Northeasterly to corner number 3 Public Clamming Ground (PCG#12); thence Northwesterly to corner number 2 Public Clamming Ground (PCG#12); thence Southwesterly to the POB. Also, for a period of one year, throughout 1994, Shell Plant 115 will also be included in the Back River Shellfish Management Area.

II. Obtaining Permits: Permits for taking shellfish from management areas may be obtained from any Marine Patrol Officer, or Operations in downtown Newport News.

III. Season and Restrictions:

-January 1 - March 31 by patent tong

-York/Poquoson River - not allowed before sunrise or after 2:00 p.m., or on Saturday or Sunday

-Back River - not allowed before sunrise or after 4:00 p.m., or on Saturday or Sunday

Permits may be picked up at the VMRC Operations building at 30 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA, (757) 247-2265.

For more information call (757) 247-2061 or e-mail Stephanie Iverson (Include return e-mail address, name and phone number in body of message).

 

 

Return to Top

Virginia Marine Resources Commission - Copyright © 1996-2014
Questions or Comments?  Email Web-Info
Site Index  Privacy Policy