The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the proposed amendments to regulations listed below.
In accordance with Section 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed regulations will be held at 12:00 Noon, on Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 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, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607, by 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 22, 2010. Copies of the proposed regulations 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.
A) Chapter's 4VAC20-920-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Landing Licenses" and 4VAC20-620-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Summer Flounder".
The Commission proposes to establish a Restricted Summer Flounder Endorsement License. Qualifying criteria and restrictions are proposed to include, but not limited to possession of a current Virginia Commercial hook-and-line license and a federal summer flounder moratorium permit, a prohibition on the use of agents and transfers; and a vessel and landing possession limit of not more than 200 pounds of Summer Flounder. The purpose of these amendments is to allow limited, but controlled, access by Commercial Hook and Line license holders to the offshore portion of Virginia's Summer Flounder quota.
B) 4VAC20-620-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Summer Flounder".
The Commission will consider increasing the minimum size limit of Summer Flounder harvested and possessed by commercial hook and line fishermen. Currently, that minimum size limit is 14-inches in total length. The purpose of the amendment is to promote equitable harvest opportunities among all anglers (commercial and recreational), through a uniform minimum size limit during the continued rebuilding of the population of summer flounder.
C) Chapter 4VAC20-1190-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Gill Net Control Date, Limited Entry and Transfers".
The Commission will consider proposals that would allow gill net permittees to fish from the same vessel and restrict, or eliminate, the use of agents in the gill net fishery, except in cases of medical hardship.
The proposal would allow harvesters to minimize overhead costs during a period of economic difficulties, which, in turn, promotes efficiency, and continue to provide a deterrent to gill net license stacking practices.
D) Chapter 4VAC20-995-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Commercial Hook-and-Line Fishing".
The Commission will consider proposals to:
1) Limit the commercial hook-and-line licensees to a crew list with a maximum of 15 crew members
2) Allow for an update of the crew list only once per year
3) Define the term "previous two years," that determines participation or entry into this fishery, as that time interval that includes the two most recent calendar years.
The proposals pertaining to the crew list would address concerns that allowing unlimited crew lists for commercial hook-and-line licensees, and twice annual updates, promotes opportunities for individuals to circumvent recreational bag and size limits. The proposal pertaining to defining the term "previous two years" would eliminate any ambiguity, as to whether "two years" means a 24-month period or two-calendar year period.
VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS DUE TO A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE BETTY WARREN (757-247-2248) NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.