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EMERGENCY CHAPTER:  PERTAINING TO RESTRICTIONS ON OYSTER HARVEST

VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION
"PERTAINING TO RESTRICTIONS ON OYSTER HARVEST"
EMERGENCY CHAPTER 4VAC 20-720-10 ET. SEQ.


IMPORTANT NOTE:  Provisions of this emergency regulation are in addition to the restrictions found in the full version of this regulation.  Click here to see the provisions of the full regulation.

PREAMBLE

This emergency chapter sets times of closure and other restrictions on the harvest of oysters from all oyster grounds in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the tributaries of the Potomac River and on the Seaside of Eastern Shore.  This emergency chapter is promulgated pursuant to authority contained in 28.2-201, 28.2-210, and 28.2-507 of the Code of Virginia.  This emergency chapter amends and re-adopts, as amended, previous Chapter 4VAC20-720-10 et seq., which was adopted January 25, 2011 and made effective January 28, 2011.  The effective date of this emergency chapter, as amended, is October 1, 2011.

4VAC20-720-10.  Purpose.

The purpose of this emergency chapter is to protect and conserve Virginia's oyster resource, and promote the preservation of oyster broodstock, which has been depleted by disease, harvesting, and natural disasters.

4VAC20-720-85.  James River Seed Quota and Monitoring.

A.  An oyster seed harvest quota of 120,000 bushels of seed is established for the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area for the 2011/2012 harvest season.  Once it has been projected and announced that the quota of seed has been attained, it shall be unlawful for any person to harvest seed oysters from these areas.

B.  Of the 120,000-bushel seed quota, described in subsection A of this section, no more than 40,000 bushels of this quota may be harvested from October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011.  However, if it is projected and announced that 40,000 bushels of seed have been harvested before December 31, 2011, it shall be unlawful for any person to harvest seed oysters from that date forward, until January 1, 2012.

C.  Any person harvesting or landing oyster seed from the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area, shall report monthly on forms provided by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, all harvest of seed oysters.  Reporting requirements shall consist of that person's Commercial Fisherman Registration License number, daily number of bushels of seed oysters harvested, harvest rock location, planting location (any lease numbers), and buyer name.

D.  It shall be unlawful for any person harvesting seed oysters from the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area, to fail to contact the Virginia Marine Resources Commission Interactive-Voice-Response (IVR) System within 24 hours of harvest or landing, and provide that person's name, Commercial Fisherman Registration License number, the time, the date, daily number of bushels of seed oysters harvested, harvest rock location, the planting location (any lease numbers), and buyer name.

4VAC20-720-91.  Harvest Permit Shall be Required for the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Area.

A harvest permit shall be required for the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area, for the harvesting of seed oysters.  It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest or attempt to harvest seed oysters from the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area, without first obtaining and having on board a harvest permit.

4VAC20-720-110. Penalty.

A.  As set forth in 28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this emergency chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter committed by the same person within 12 months of a prior violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B.  In addition to the penalty prescribed by law, any person violating any provision of this emergency chapter shall destroy, in the presence of a marine police officer, all shellfish in his possession, or, at the direction of the marine police officer, shall place the shellfish overboard on the nearest oyster sanctuary or closed shellfish area, and shall cease harvesting on that day.  All harvesting apparatus may be subject to seizure, and, pursuant to 28.2-232 of the Code of Virginia, all licenses and permits may be subject to revocation following a hearing before the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

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