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Public Notice: Pertaining to Summer Flounder

NOTICE

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on proposed amendments to Regulation 4 VAC 20-620-10 ET SEQ., "Pertaining to Summer Flounder". The proposed amendments, currently part of Emergency Regulation 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq. are shown below, according to section of the proposed final Regulation 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq.

The purpose of the amendments, contained in Emergency Regulation 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq. and proposed for adoption in final Regulation 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq., is to reduce commercial and recreational fishing mortality, in order to rebuild the severely depleted stocks of Summer Flounder.

In accordance with 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the adoption of the proposed amendments will be held at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, May 23, 2000, at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia. Written comments on the proposals should be mailed to: Jack Travelstead, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, P. O. Box 756, Newport News, VA 23607. A copy of the proposed regulation may be reviewed at the Commission during Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 P.M. Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the proposed regulation may call the Commission at (757) 247-2248.

THE AMENDMENTS:

4 VAC 20-620-20. DEFINITIONS: "Potomac River tributaries" means all the tributaries of the Potomac River that are within Virginia's jurisdiction beginning with, and including, Flag Pond, thence upstream to the District of Columbia boundary.

4 VAC 20-620 30. COMMERCIAL HARVEST QUOTAS: If a person lands flounder after the harvest or landing quota has been attained and announced as such, the entire amount of summer flounder in that person's possession shall be confiscated.

4 VAC 20-620-40 COMMERCIAL VESSEL POSSESSION LIMITATIONS:

1) During the period of April 26, 2000 through June 30, 2000 a bycatch-only quota of 90,912 pounds shall be established from a transfer of quota allocated to the November 1, 2000 through December 31, 2000 period. During the April 26, 2000 through June 30, 2000 period, it shall be unlawful for any person harvesting Summer Flounder outside of Virginia waters to possess aboard any vessel in Virginia any amount of Summer Flounder in excess of 10% by weight of all other species on board the vessel. (NOTE: This is a temporary (2000 only) modification of the 6.4% landings quota established for the April 1 through June 30 period by section 4 VAC 20-620-30 of current Emergency Regulation 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq. and proposed final Regulation 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq.).

2) It shall be unlawful for a licensed seafood buyer or federally permitted seafood buyer to fail to contact the Marine Resources Commission Operation Station prior to a vessel offloading flounder harvested outside of Virginia. The buyer shall provide to the Commission the name of the vessel and its captain and the anticipated or approximate offloading time.

4 VAC 20-620-50. MINIMUM SIZE LIMITS: The minimum size of Summer Flounder harvested in the Potomac River tributaries shall be 15 inches total length.

4 VAC 20-620-70. RECREATIONAL FISHING SEASON: The recreational fishing season for the Potomac River tributaries shall be closed from January 1 through May 14, 2000.

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VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION DUE TO A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE DEBORAH CAWTHON (757) 247-2248 NO LESS THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING TIME AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEED.

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