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Public Notice: Pertaining to Tangier Island Crab Scrape Sanctuary.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on amendments to several regulations, listed below.

In accordance with §28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the adoption of these proposed regulations will be held at 12:00 noon on April 22, 1997 at the Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia. Written comments on the proposals should be forwarded to Jack Travelstead, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, P. O. Box 756, Newport News, VA 23607 prior to 12:00 noon, April 21, 1997. The proposed regulations may be reviewed and copied at the offices of the Marine Resources Commission Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the proposals may call the Commission at (757) 247-2248.

I. Amendments to Regulation 4 VAC 20-240-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Tangier Island Crab Scrape Sanctuary."

The Commission proposes to establish new boundaries for the Tangier Island Crab Scrape Sanctuary as follows:

Beginning near the Northernmost point of Fishbone Island, at 37E 53' 10.4510" north, 76E 00' 08.7703" west; thence in a northerly direction approximately 0.92 miles to a point near the Eastern shore of Herring Island, at 37E 54' 03.4504" north, 76E 00' 27.7700" west; thence a northerly direction approximately 1.67 miles to a point near Peach Orchard Point, at 37E 55' 41.4491" north, 76E 00' 53.7692" west; thence following the shoreline of South Point Marsh to a point on the marsh near South Point, at 37E 55' 19.4499" north, 76E 01' 30.7706" west; thence due west approximately 0.80 miles to the remains of the overhead power cable west of the Westernmost point of Shanks Island at 37E 55' 20.7101" north, 76E 01' 31.6527" west; thence in a southeasterly direction, along the remains of the overhead power cable, approximately 2.86 miles to a point near Upper Tump, at 37E 52' 50.5065" north, 76E 00' 45.6702" west; thence in a Northeasterly direction approximately 0.59 miles to a point near the Northernmost point of Fishbone Island, the point of beginning.

The purpose of the amendment is to re-establish the sanctuary to its original boundaries and to specify points for consistent marking of the area. Corners of the proposed area have been marked on the site for viewing by the public.

II. Establishment of Regulation 4 VAC 20-960-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Tautog."

The Commission proposes to adopt the following measures for Tautog in order to reduce tautog fishing mortality and to increase the spawning stock biomass.

A. A 13 inch, total length, minimum size limit for recreational and commercial harvests.

B. A requirement that fish pots used to harvest tautog be constructed with hinges and fasteners on one panel or door made of one of the following degradable materials:

1. untreated hemp, jute, or cotton string of 3/16" (4.8 mm) or smaller;

2. magnesium alloy, timed float releases (pop-up devices) or similar magnesium alloy fasteners; or

3. ungalvanized or uncoated iron wire of 0.094" (2.39 mm) or smaller.

III. Amendments to Regulation 4 VAC 20-490-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Sharks."

The Commission proposes two measures, listed below, to reduce fishing mortality on large coastal sharks which is necessary if a successful recovery of shark populations is to occur:

A. Closure of all state tidal waters to the commercial harvest and landing of sharks at such time as the federal quota for the harvest of large coastal sharks in the Exclusive Economic Zone is taken and announced as such.

B. Establishment of a 58 inch, fork-length, minimum size limit for all sharks taken commercially and recreationally from Virginia tidal waters or landed in Virginia.

IV. Amendments to Regulation 4 VAC 20-890-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Channeled Whelk."

The Commission proposes to amend this regulation to provide for sustainable recruitment and minimize the probability of stock collapse. The following measures are proposed:

A. An increase in the current 5-inch minimum size limit for channeled whelk (conch) shell length.

B. Establishment of a possession limit for the landing of channeled whelks in Virginia. Limits of 40 to 70 bushels per vessel per day will be considered.


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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 (247-2248) NO LESS THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING TIME AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.

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