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Commissioner, Steven G. Bowman

Commissioner’s Message

Welcome to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.  We serve as stewards of the Commonwealth’s marine and aquatic resources, and protectors of its tidal waters and homelands, for present and future generations.

We manage saltwater fishing, both recreational and commercial.  We work to create and maintain sustainable fisheries for the benefit of all anglers and the ecosystem.

We also manage water bottoms in public trust for the citizens of the Commonwealth.  Our Habitat Management Division works with those who wish to use them for piers or water-dependent projects.

Our Law Enforcement Division, the Virginia Marine Police, patrols the waterways to enforce the regulations and to assist citizens in need.

We take our duties seriously, striving always to serve the public in a professional, responsive and responsible way.

Please join us as protectors of our critical natural resources so that they remain for our children and grandchildren to enjoy them as we do.

Important Links

VMRC Regulations

Recreational Fishing Rules

Anglers Guide

What We Do

Agency News

December 13, 2018:  Regulation 4VAC20-1230-30 (A) Public Health and Warm Water Harvest Restrictions for Shellfish, requires Shellfish Harvester Safety Training to be completed every five years. The Shellfish Harvest Safety Training Certification is valid from the date of issuance through the next five (5) calendar years. To maintain your eligibility to purchase shellfish licenses, permits and user fees, please complete your training prior to the five year expiration. Our Conservation and Replenishment Office will send licensed harvesters a notification of their training expiration approximately 60 days before expiration. To renew your training, please go to:

December 12, 2018: 
The Commission met yesterday and approved several shoreline projects, including one for Dominion Electric and Power, and two oyster plantings ground. The Commission also adopted a emergency regulations to adjust the the opening of the Rappahannock oyster area from January 1 - Feb 28, 2019, to November 12, 2018 - January 10, 2019. In addition, the Commission recognized two staff from the Conservation and Replenishment Department, Vernon Rowe and Vas Dunston, for their life saving actions this summer on the James River. They saved a man's life who had been in a boating accident. They pulled the unconscious victim from the water, provided CPR and transported the victim to the dock where he was taken to the hospital, and survived. [Commission Results]

November 26, 2018:
Closure of the fall 2018 James River seed oyster fishery effective 2pm, November 27, 2018. [Notice]

November 16, 2018: Atlantic states from Massachusetts through Virginia have scheduled hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addenda XXXI and XXXII to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP). As previously announced, the hearing in Virginia was held 11/14/18. Anybody wishing to comment should submit comments directly to ASMFC by 11/29/18. See the following web links for further information. [ASMFC Hearing Notice | Addendum 31 | ASMFC Addendum 31 Presentation | Addendum 32 | ASMFC Addendum 32 Presentation | ASMFC Public Comment Guide]

November 7, 2018:
The annual meeting of the Tournament Committee of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament will be held Thursday, November 15th at 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, 6 PM, in the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s Library, located on the fourth floor of the building. The meeting is scheduled to start at 6 PM and the public is encouraged to attend. [Notice]

November 6, 2018: NOAA Fisheries is increasing the retention limit for the commercial aggregated large coastal shark and hammerhead shark management groups for directed shark limited access permit holders in the Atlantic region from 36 to 45 large coastal sharks—other than sandbar sharks—per vessel per trip as of November 6, 2018 [NMFS Notice VA Commercial Shark Possession Limits]

November 2, 2018:
Closure of the commercial non-purse seine menhaden bait fishery [Notice]

Click here for the news archive

VMRC in the News

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