CLOSURE OF VIRGINIA'S FOURTH QUARTER DIRECTED OFFSHORE SUMMER FLOUNDER FISHERY
Effective 12 Noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST), Saturday, November 25, 2006, the Fourth Quarter of the Virginia Directed Offshore Summer Flounder Fishery will close. Vessels, which have entered Virginia waters and secured to an offloading site prior to 12 Noon, EST, Saturday, November 25, 2006 may possess and offload 10,000 pounds of Summer Flounder, minus any previous landings during the current ten-day landing period.
Based upon landing reports from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Virginia seafood buyers and VMRC Law Enforcement, it is projected that Virginia will have caught its Fourth Quarter Quota of 960,097 pounds of Summer Flounder by the above date and time. Regulation 4 VAC 20 620 10 et seq. establishes that landing of Summer Flounder caught outside Virginia waters shall be limited to 10 %, by weight, of all other landed species on board the vessel, once 85 % of the quota for this quarter has been attained and announced.
Therefore, after 12 Noon, EST, November 25, 2006, landings of Summer Flounder harvested from Federal waters, or the waters of any other state (includes the by catch from federal waters or the harvest from waters of any other state by all gears), in Virginia, shall be limited to no more than 10 %, by weight, of all other landed species on board the vessel. Only vessels holding a valid Virginia Summer Flounder Endorsement License may possess Summer Flounder. The buyer shall continue to contact the Marine Resources Commission Operations Station prior to a vessel offloading any Summer Flounder harvested outside Virginia.
The buyer shall provide Operations Station (757.247.2265 or 1.800.541.4646) the name of the vessel and its captain and the anticipated or approximate offloading time. Once offloading of any vessel is complete and the weight of the landed Summer Flounder has been determined, the buyer shall contact the Marine Resources Commission Operations Station and report the vessel name and corresponding weight of Summer Flounder landed.
All vessels entering Virginia waters to land Summer Flounder for commercial purposes, at or after 12 Noon, EST, Saturday, November 25, 2006, shall not possess Summer Flounder in excess of 10 %, by weight, of all other species landed and sold from the vessel except for safe harbor.
Vessels seeking safe harbor shall contact the Marine Resources Commission Operations Center in advance of entry into Virginia waters. Any vessel declaring a need for safe harbor may be subject to inspection by the United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Office.
If you have questions or comments contact Lewis Gillingham at (757) 247-2243.