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Publice Notice: Pertaining to Black Sea Bass and Various Regs 2003

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on 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, September 23 (postponed to October 7,2003), 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.  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.

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

I.     Regulation 4 VAC 20-950-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Black Sea Bass."

The Commission proposes to modify the management provisions and harvest restrictions for black sea bass in the 2004 commercial fishery.   The Commission will consider a broad array of options ranging from quarterly quotas, with daily or weekly trip limits, to modifications of the current Individual Fishing Quota system.


II.    Regulation 4 VAC 20-620-10 ET SEQ. "Pertaining to Summer Flounder"

At the request of Industry, the Commission proposes to modify the starting date for the directed portion of the Fourth Quarter and increase the possession limit to assure the full utilization of Virginia's Summer flounder quota.

1) It is proposed that the landing period that currently extends from the first Monday in November to December 31 be changed to extend from the last Monday in October to December 31.

2) It is proposed to increase the cumulative ten-day possession limit from 7,500 pounds to 10,000 pounds.

III. Chapter 4 VAC 20-720-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest"

Proposed Amendments:

1) The Commission proposes the following open harvest seasons, for 2004 and beyond:

James River Seed and Clean Cull Area (Hand Tong only): October 1 - April 30

Seaside of Eastern Shore:  (By Hand Only) November 1 - January 31

Piankatank River, west of the Route 3 bridge; Corrotoman River north of Balls Point and Corrotoman Pt.; Nomini, Lower Machodoc, Coan, Yeocomico, and Little Wicomico Rivers (Hand Tong only); October 15 - January 15

Rappahannock River Drumming Ground Hand Scrape Area and Rappahannock River Temple Bay (Hand Scrape Area): Rappahannock River Hand Scrape Area:  October 15 - January 31

Deep Rock Dredge Area:   March 1 -  March 31

Portions of Pocomoke/Tangier Sounds:  December 1 -  January 31

2) Allow a 250 daily bycatch of hard clams in the Pocomoke Sound and Tangier Sound and Deep Rock Dredge Area (4 VAC 20-720-80).

3) Removal of the loss of license penalty for failure of reporting daily catch in the Pocomoke and Tangier Sound Management Area (4 VAC 20-720-80).

IV.    Regulation 4 VAC 20-650 "PERTAINING TO ESTABLISHMENT OF OYSTER MANAGEMENT AREAS"

Proposed Amendment:

Prohibits harvesting shellfish within 300 feet of the marked, constructed reef.

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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 LESS THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING TIME AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.




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