Public Notice:  Proposed Regulations, June 2019

NOTICE

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on proposed amendments to regulations, as shown below. By June 10, 2019, the proposed draft regulations may be viewed at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 380 Fenwick Road, Bldg. 96, Fort Monroe, Virginia.

In accordance with Section 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed amendments to these regulations will be held on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 380 Fenwick Road, Bldg. 96, Fort Monroe, Virginia. Public comments on the proposals should be provided to Robert L. O’Reilly, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, 380 Fenwick Road, Bldg. 96, Fort Monroe, Virginia 23651, by 12:00 p.m., Monday, June 24, 2019.

The Commission may review Fisheries Management Division items as early as 9:30 a.m.


Amendments to the following regulations are proposed for the blue crab fishery:

A. Chapter 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Crabbing”

1) The Commission proposes to establish management measures for the commercial crab fishery season; 2) The Commission proposes to modify time periods when crab pots and other lawful gear used to harvest crabs shall be removed from state waters during that next season; and, 3) The Commission proposes to increase the November bushel limits for the commercial crab pot fishery to be commensurate with other months of the season except March. The purpose of these amendments is to conserve the blue crab resource, while taking into account variations in abundance of this resource.

B. Chapter 4 VAC 20-1140-10 et seq., “Prohibition of Crab Dredging in Virginia Waters”

The Commission proposes to close the December 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020 winter commercial crab dredge fishing season, in accordance with the provisions of Section 28.2-707 of the Code of Virginia. The purpose of this closure is to conserve spawning potential of the crab population.

C. Chapter 4 VAC 20-1040-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Crabbing Licenses”
The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-1040-10 et seq., to modify the current license-transferability provisions, whereby an eligibility for a license or a current license may be transferred, rather than only a license, from one individual to another. The purpose of the amendment is to reduce a regulatory burden.

D. Chapter 4 VAC 20-670-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Recreational Gear Licenses”

1) The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-670-10 et seq., to correctly reference that an exemption from the daily time limits for those individuals licensed for a 5-crab pot recreational gear is contained in 4 VAC 20-270-30, rather than this chapter; and, 2) The Commission proposes to rescind the vague reference in Section 30 that exempts crab pots licensed for recreational purposes from gear restrictions within the area established in Section 28.2-709 of the Code of Virginia. The sole purpose of these amendments is to rectify inaccuracies in this chapter.


VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS BECAUSE OF A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE ELLEN BOLEN, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER (757-247-2269) NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.


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