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Publice Notice: Proposed Amendments to Regulations, December 2006

NOTICE

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the proposed amendment to the regulation listed below.

In accordance with §28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed amendment will be held at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 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, December 18, 2006.  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.

I.  Regulation 4 VAC 20-1090-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Licensing Requirements and License Fees;” and Regulation 4 VAC 20-610-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting”

The Commission proposes to establish a clam aquaculture license and an oyster aquaculture license, in order to: 1) better monitor production on private leased ground through the mandatory reporting system; and, 2) provide funds for the promotion of aquaculture products.  The license fee would be $10.00, for each license.  The person or firm that is responsible for the planting, propagating, taking or harvesting of oysters or clams on or from the private shellfish growing ground or in the aquaculture operation shall be required to have the license and report, in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 4 VAC 20-610-10 et seq.  Employees of aquaculture operations that are responsible for maintenance and daily operations would not be required to obtain an aquaculture license.


II.  Regulation 4 VAC 20-200-10 et seq., “Pertaining to the Requirements for Reporting Oyster Transactions and Payment of Taxes”

The amendments are in response to a recent change (July 1, 2006) in the Code of Virginia, concerning the oyster inspection and replenishment taxes and provide the guidelines for reporting harvested or imported oysters and submitting the applicable taxes, whether replenishment tax or inspection tax, to the Commission.  Reports of oyster harvest would be required of aquaculture operations, in addition to the current requirements that apply to harvesters of oysters from public, private or unassigned ground.  A reporting schedule would be established, in accordance with the provisions of 4 VAC 20-610-10 et seq.

The purpose of the amendments is to provide improved information on the harvest of oysters, from all sectors, in order to better assess the status of  this resource.
 
II.    Regulation 4 VAC 20-490-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Sharks”

On November 28, 2006, the Marine Resources Commission adopted, under its emergency regulatory authority (Section 28.2-210 of The Code of Virginia), amendments to the above regulation, concerning spiny dogfish.  The emergency amendment increases the daily vessel trip limit of spiny dogfish, from 300 to 4000 pounds, and is in effect from November 1, 2006 through April 30, 2007 or until such time the Interstate quota has been announced as having been taken.  This emergency amendment was in response to recent actions, by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, that increased the fishing year (May 1, 2006 – April 30, 2007) quota of spiny dogfish from 4,000,000 pounds to 6,000,000 pounds.

The provisions of the emergency amendment to this regulation are effective on November 29, 2006, and the Commission proposes to make this amendment a permanent part of Regulation 4 VAC 20-490-10 et seq., at its December 19, 2006 meeting. 

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

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