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EMERGENCY CHAPTER:  PROHIBITION OF CRAB DREDGING IN VIRGINIA WATERS

VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION
"PROHIBITION OF CRAB DREDGING IN VIRGINIA WATERS "
EMERGENCY CHAPTER 4 VAC 20-1140-10 ET SEQ.

PREAMBLE

This emergency chapter closes the 2017/2018 crab dredging season in Virginia tidal waters, in order to conserve female crabs, as the exploitation rate, by the crab dredge fishery, on female crabs, most of which have not spawned for the first time, can jeopardize the current and future biological health of this resource. This emergency chapter is promulgated pursuant to the authority contained in 28.2-201, 28.2-203, 28.2-203.1, 28.2-210, and 28.2-707 of the Code of Virginia. This emergency chapter amends and re-adopts, as amended, previous Chapter 4 VAC 20-1140-10 et seq., which was promulgated June 28, 2016 and made effective on July 5, 2016. The effective date of this emergency chapter is July 5, 2017.

4 VAC 20-1140-10. PURPOSE.

This chapter promotes conservation of the blue crab resource, especially female crabs that constitute mostly all of the crab dredge harvest, with many of those female crabs yet to produce their initial spawn. The provisions in this chapter are in response to the reduced abundance of the blue crab resource and its overexploitation, especially of female crabs.

4 VAC 20-1140-20. CRAB DREDGING PROHIBITED.

In accordance with the provisions of Section 28.2-707 of the Code of Virginia, the crab dredging season of December 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018, is closed, and it shall be unlawful to use a dredge for catching crabs from the waters of the Commonwealth during that season.

4 VAC 20-1140-30. Penalty.

As set forth in 28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this 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.

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This is to certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate copy of the emergency chapter passed by the Marine Resources Commission, pursuant to authority vested in the Commission by 28.2-201 and 28.2-210 of the Code of Virginia, duly advertised according to statute, and recorded in the Commission's minute book, at meeting held in Newport News, Virginia on June 27, 2017.




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