February 28, 2014: Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today the
appointment of John M.R. Bull as Commissioner of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.
John Bull has been with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission since June 2007
and has been serving as Acting Commissioner since January 2014. In his career at the agency, he has been Director of Public Relations and Legislative Liaison and has worked closely with the agency’s many and varied constituent groups, the news media and the Virginia General Assembly and has been involved in all aspects of agency operations. Before joining the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, he was an award-winning newspaper reporter at eight different newspapers over the span of 23 years, most recently as an investigative reporter and Virginia General Assembly reporter for the Newport News Daily
Press. He is a journalism graduate of Penn State University.
February 26, 2014: NOAA Fisheries Service has announced the commercial quota and recreational harvest limits, for summer flounder, effective January 1, 2014. The coastwide summer flounder total allowable landings (TAL) are 19.07 million pounds. The commercial summer flounder quota allotment is 11.73 million pounds. Virginia’s commercial quota, after subtracting the research set-aside amount, is 2,427,783 pounds. Virginia’s commercial summer flounder quota will be distributed, as described in Chapter 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Summer Flounder," in the following notice: [Notice]
February 26, 2014: The Commission ordered a sunken barge that has plagued the Town of Urbanna for almost two years removed by the owner within 31 days or he’ll face court enforcement action from the Office of Attorney General, which could include fines of up to $10,000 a day for non-compliance with the Commission’s orders. Also, the recreational speckled trout fishery was closed as of March 1 in an emergency action to protect the stock in the wake of abnormal levels of cold-stuns and cold-kills due to the three-week polar vortex earlier this month. This stock conservation action was taken at the request of a large number of recreational speckled trout anglers. [Meeting Summary]
February 19, 2014: The Recreational Fishing Advisory Board will be
combining its two spring meetings, originally scheduled for March 10th and May
12th, into a single meeting to be held on March 10th; decisions on first cycle
project proposals will be made at the meeting. [Meeting
February 11, 2014: A special meeting of the Tournament Committee of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament will be held Tuesday, February 18th at 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, 7 PM, in the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s meeting room, located on the fourth floor of the building. The meeting was scheduled in response to a significant number of requests for the Committee to reconsider their decision, made during their annual meeting in November 2013, to eliminate the multiple tiers of the Master Angler Program as originally designed. The multiple tier design was modeled after a similar and popular program run by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. [Notice]
January 28, 2014: Dr. Bob Orth (VIMS) reported on the distribution and recovery efforts of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). SAV provides valuable habitat to a variety of species including the commercial important blue crab. Dr. Orth explained that water clarity and quality is a key to the reestablishment of SAV and has hampered restoration efforts in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Reestablishment efforts in the coastal bays have been extremely successful and may soon provide the necessary habitat to restore a bay scallop fishery. Dr. Orth anticipates water quality benefits will accrue from the new stormwater regulations and that will in turn benefit SAV distribution and the valuable fish habitats it supports. <Meeting
January 15, 2014: Commissioner Jack Travelstead retired from the Marine Resources Commission on January 10, 2014 after almost 33 years of outstanding service to the Commonwealth. Commissioner Travelstead leaves behind an enduring legacy of fair and balanced marine resource management. Mr. John M. R. Bull has been designated as the Acting Commissioner for the Marine Resources Commission effective January 13, 2014. Mr. Bull has been with the agency since June 1, 2007 as the Director of Public Relations, and has been very involved in all aspects of Commission business.
December 20, 2013: Commission main office holiday schedule:
Closed Monday, Dec. 23 through Wednesday, Dec. 25, open Thursday, Dec. 26,
Friday, Dec. 27, and Monday, Dec. 30 8AM-5PM. Closed Tuesday, Dec. 31
after Noon and closed on Wednesday, Jan. 1. Open Thursday, Jan. 2,
8AM-5PM, Open Friday, Jan. 3, 8AM-3:30PM. Resume normal office schedule on
Monday, Jan. 6 (M-Th 8AM-5PM, Fri 8AM-2:30PM).
December 10, 2013: The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted today to raise the size limit on eels used as bait by recreational anglers from six to nine inches, and to lower the possession limit from 50 to 25 eels per person per day. The changes were required by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission because the coast-wide eel stock is in poor shape and the species is being considered for listing as endangered. The Commission also revoked the licenses of three watermen for either oyster violations or for failing to report their catch while on probation, and placed four other watermen on probation. <Meeting Summary>
November 27, 2013: Effective 6:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time (EST), Wednesday, November 27, 2013, the commercial purse seine menhaden reduction sector will close. Based on Captain's Daily Fishing reports , it is projected that Virginia will have caught 100% of the 286,396,768 pounds of allowable menhaden landings allocated to the purse seine menhaden reduction sector, by the above date and time. See attached memorandum for further information. <Memorandum>
November 27, 2013: Effective 6:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time (EST), Wednesday, December 4, 2013, it is projected that the Directed Virginia Offshore Summer Flounder Fishery will have harvested 100% of the quota. Therefore, after 6:00 P.M., EST, Wednesday, December 4, 2013, it shall be unlawful for any person harvesting Summer Flounder outside of Virginia’s waters to land flounder in Virginia. Please refer to the notice for more information and requirements. <Notice>
November 18, 2013: Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that Virginia’s most recent oyster harvest has greatly exceeded recent years, reaching the highest level since 1987. The 2012-2013 harvest of 406,000 bushels was also 60 percent greater than just one year prior. The harvest boom came from both wild-caught oysters and from dramatically increased yields in oyster aquaculture operations on privately leased water bottoms. <Press Release>
November 18, 2013: The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission releases its Draft Strategic Plan for 2014 – 2018 for public review and comment.
The Draft Plan revises the Commission’s long-term vision to “Sustainably Managing Atlantic Coastal Fisheries” and proposes seven major goals and related strategies to pursue this vision.
The Strategic Plan will guide the Commission’s activities over the next five years and will be implemented through Annual Action Plans.
Public comment must be received by January 10, 2014, 5:00 PM EST and should be forwarded to Deke Tompkins, Legislative Assistant, at 1050 N. Highland, Suite 200A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703-842-0741 (fax) or email@example.com (Subject line: Strategic Plan). The Commission is scheduled to take action on the final Plan in February at its Winter Meeting in Alexandria, VA. <Draft Strategic Plan>
November 12, 2013: Governor Bob McDonnell has appointed James Close of Mathews to the board of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. Mr. Close is a commercial waterman, and will hold the seat designated to represent commercial watermen. He will serve a four-year term. He replaces former Associate Commissioner Joseph Palmer, who passed away in July.