The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on proposed amendments to regulations, as shown below. By June 4, 2018, the proposed draft regulations may be viewed at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia.
In accordance with Section 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed amendments to these regulations will be held no earlier than 12:00 noon, on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 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, June 18, 2018.
I. Chapters 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Crabbing”; 4 VAC 20-240-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Tangier Island Crab Scrape Sanctuary”; and, 4 VAC 20-1140-10 et seq., “Prohibition of Crab Dredging in Virginia Waters.”
A. The Commission proposes a November 30, 2018 closing date for the 2017-2018 crab pot harvest season and a March 17, 2019 opening date for the 2018-2019 crab pot harvesting season.
B. The Commission proposes a limited daily by-catch allowance of up to 3 bushels of female hard crabs for valid peeler scrape licensees. This by-catch allowance could begin as early as August but would end October 31. The purpose of this amendment is to conform with recent legislation passed by the General Assembly.
C. The Commission proposes to close the commercial winter crab dredge fishing season, in accordance with the provisions of Section 28.2-707 of the Code of Virginia. The purpose of this closure is to conserve spawning potential of the crab population.
D. The Commission proposes to continue current crab fishery related management measures, as described in Chapter 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq., from July 5, 2018 through July 4, 2019.
II. Chapter 4 VAC 20-450-10 et seq., “Pertaining to the Taking of Bluefish”
The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-450-10 et seq., “Pertaining to the Taking of Bluefish,” to establish the 2018 commercial bluefish quota as 860,518 pounds. The 2017 commercial bluefish quota was 1,014,773 pounds.
The purpose of this amendment is to comply with the federal and interstate management plans for this species.
VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS BECAUSE OF A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE MICHELE GUILFORD (757-247-2206) NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.