The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the establishment of amendments to regulations, as proposed below. By August 10, 2015, the proposed draft regulations may be viewed at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia.
In accordance with Section 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed regulations will be held no earlier than 12:00 noon, on Tuesday, August 25, 2015, at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia. Public comments on the proposals should be provided to Robert L. O’Reilly, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607, by 12:00 p.m., Monday, August 24, 2015.
I. Chapter 4 VAC 20-720-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest”
The Commission will consider proposed amendments to Chapter 4 VAC 20-720-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest,” to establish area-specific public oyster harvest seasons from October 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016, for public oyster grounds and unassigned grounds. The Commission will also consider proposed amendments to Chapter 4 VAC 20-720-10 et seq., to reduce harvest effort. Harvest effort reductions may include, alone or in combination, but not be limited to the following conservation measures:
1) reductions in daily bushel limits;
2) establishing shorter daily time limits;
3) shortening of area-specific season lengths;
4) reducing the number of oyster dredge and oyster hand scrape licenses, whereby those licensees who reported an average of less than 20 days of oyster harvest, using either gear type, from 2011 through 2014, would not be eligible for licensing of that gear type starting December 1, 2015.
In accordance with Section 28.2-204.1 of the Code of Virginia, the purpose of these amendments is to manage the Virginia public oyster resource for sustainable harvest and to prevent overfishing.
II. Chapter 4 VAC 20-280-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Speckled Trout and Red Drum”
In 2014 the General Assembly repealed Section 28.2-304 of the Code of Virginia. This action renders the Class 1 misdemeanor described in the penalty section of Chapter 4 VAC 20-280-10 et seq., which is pursuant to this repealed section of the Code of Virginia, in need of rescission.
The purpose of this amendment is to conform this chapter’s penalty section to recent changes to the Code of Virginia.
VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS DUE TO DISABILITIES, PLEASE ADVISE JANE MCCROSKEY AT (757) 247-2215, NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.