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Commissioner, John M.R. Bull

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

April 28, 2017:  Effective Sunset, Sunday, April 30th, 2017, the Virginia horseshoe crab general category permit commercial fishery will close.  [Notice]

April 27, 2017:  Effective 11:59 P.M., Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), Sunday, April 30, 2017, the Directed Virginia Offshore Summer Flounder Fishery will close. [Notice]

April 25, 2017: The Virginia Marine Resources Commission board today was briefed on the 28th annual Bay-wide blue crab winter dredge survey results, which show a record abundance of spawning-age female crabs but a low number of juveniles, and requested staff develop potential management options to address the juvenile crab level. The board set June as the target date for a public hearing and vote on crab management measures. In other action, the board adopted an emergency regulation so eligible oyster license holders do not have to pay the Code-required user fee (which is $300 a year for harvesters) by April 30 this year in order to maintain their eligibility to harvest oysters next year. Instead, the user fee must be paid before harvesting but by the end of this calendar year at the latest.  [Meeting Summary]

April 19, 2017 -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Scientific Survey Shows Promising Blue Crab Stock Abundance with Boost to Adult Females:
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission today released the results of the 2017 blue crab winter dredge survey, which shows a 31 percent increase in adult female crabs and forecasts another year of improved harvests. [Press Release]

April 18, 2017:  REMINDER:
Any individual commercial licensee who is eligible for the Public Oyster Resource User Fee must pay this fee by April 30, 2017 in order to maintain their eligibility in the fishery. The user fee may be purchased at the VMRC main office at 2600 Washington Ave Newport News VA or at any of the VMRC license agents.

April 11, 2017: 
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has reduced 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 25 to 3 sharks per vessel per trip effective 11:30 p.m. April 15, 2017. [ASMFC Notice]

March 29, 2017:
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) is hosting two workshops in late April to help the for-hire community prepare for submitting Vessel Trip Reports (VTRs) electronically. The Council approved a measure last year that will phase out the current paper-based reports over the coming year. For-hire vessel operators/owners who must report VTRs for species managed by the Mid-Atlantic Council will need to report using their mobile device or personal computer in order to be in compliance. While all options for electronic reporting will be briefly discussed, the workshops will focus on hands-on training for the eTrips/mobile and eTrips/PC system, a free program developed by the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP). [Workshop Notice]


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VMRC in the News


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