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Publice Notice: Pertaining to the Marking and Minimum Mesh Size of Gill Nets

NOTICE

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the proposed amendments to the regulations listed below.

In accordance with 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed amendments will be held at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 at the Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia. Written comments on the proposals should be mailed to Jack Travelstead, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607, by 5:00 p.m., Monday, April 25, 2005. Copies of the proposed amendments may be reviewed at the Commission Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and may be obtained by calling the Commission at (757) 247-2248.

On March 22, 2005, the Marine Resources Commission adopted, under its emergency regulatory authority (Section 28.2-210 of The Code of Virginia), the following five emergency regulations. The Commission, on April 26, 2004, will consider these emergency regulations, effective April 1, 2005, for continuation as permanent regulations. The purposes of these emergency regulations are to conserve and protect bottlenose dolphin and sea turtle stocks in Virginia waters.

I. Regulation 4 VAC 20-430-10 Et Seq., "Pertaining to the Marking and Minimum Mesh Size of Gill Nets"

Amendments establish maximum (> 7 inches) gill net mesh sizes and tending requirements for gill nets of those mesh sizes, for all Virginia coastal commercial fisheries, east of the COLREGS line, except for black drum and striped bass.

II. Regulation 4 VAC 20-252-10 ET SEQ., "Pertaining to the Taking of Striped Bass"

The amendments establish exemptions from the maximum mesh size and tending requirements proposed by 4 VAC 20-430-10 ET SEQ., for coastal commercial striped bass fishermen.

III. Regulation 4 VAC 20-320-10 Et Seq., "Pertaining to the Taking of Black Drum"

The amendments establish exemptions from the maximum mesh size and tending requirements proposed by 4 VAC 20-430-10 ET SEQ., for Virginia coastal black drum fishermen.

IV. Regulation 4 VAC 20-170-10 ET SEQ., "Pertaining to the Removal of Nets" 

The amendment establishes a limited (24-hour) time a gill net may remain in Virginia coastal waters, without being either fished or removed.

V. Regulation 4 VAC 20-1080-10 ET SEQ., "Pertaining to Monkfish (Goosefish)" 

The amendments would establish a minimal by-catch allowance for harvest and landings of monkfish in Virginia and prohibits tie-downs on gill nets in Virginia coastal waters, from May 1 through December 31. 

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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 (757) 247-2248 NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.

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