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Public Notice: Pertaining to Pertaining to Crab Pots

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

In accordance with Section 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, June 24, 1997 at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News. Written comments should be mailed to Jack Travelstead, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, P.O. Box 756, Newport News, Virginia 23607. A copy of the proposed regulations may be reviewed at the offices of the Commission during Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Persons interested in obtaining copies of the proposed regulations may call the Commission at (757) 247-2248.

Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Crab Pots."

1) The Commission proposes to amend Section 4 VAC 20-270-40 to prohibit the leaving of any crab pot in the tidal waters of Virginia during the closed crab fishing season.

The proposed amendment is: "It shall be unlawful for any person to place, set, fish or leave any hard crab pot or peeler crab pot in any tidal waters of Virginia from December 1 through March 31."

2) The Commission proposes to add a new section to this regulation as follows:

"Gear Restriction: 4 VAC 20-270-45 It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest crabs with any pot other than a licensed hard crab pot or licensed peeler crab pot. It shall be unlawful to harvest crabs with or to possess crabs taken by any fish pot."

Regulation 4 VAC 20-370-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the Culling of Crabs"

The Commission proposes amendments to improve the enforcement of the minimum size limit on blue crabs by amending the culling requirement.

The current language of the regulation is as follows:

A. All crabs taken from the tidal waters of Virginia shall be culled to the legal size and possession limits by the catcher during the harvesting process.

During culling, all undersize crabs shall be immediately returned to the water as required by Section 28.2-708 of the Code of Virginia. Upon arrival at the dock or landing point all crabs shall have been culled.

The proposed amended language is as follows:

All crabs taken from the tidal waters of Virginia shall be culled to the legal size and possession limits by the catcher at the location of the harvest.

During culling, all undersize crabs shall be returned immediately to the water as required by Section 28.2-708 of the Code of Virginia.

Regulation 4 VAC 20-700-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Crab Pots."

The Commission proposes an amendment to this regulation to clarify that cull rings may not be obstructed in crab pots set in any tributary of Pocomoke or Tangier Sounds. The amendment clarifies that the creeks and streams entering Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds are not within the area exempted from the unobstructed cull ring requirement.

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

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