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COMMISSION ACTIONS March 26, 2019

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA. APPROVED BY UNANIMOUS VOTE.

1. MINUTES of previous meeting. APPROVED AS PRESENTED 8 TO 0 WITH 1 ABSTENTION (ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER BALLARD).

2. PERMITS (Projects over $500,000.00 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval). NONE

3. CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS. NONE

4. CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY, COUNSEL. NONE

Due to technical issues the audio record from the beginning of the meeting to early in item 5 is unavailable.

5. SUSAN WADE, #19-0201 Requests authorization to install eight (8) 70-inch by 136-inch oyster upwellers and six (6) water pumps, three (3) submersible and three (3) placed upon the decking of an existing commercial pier, along Milford Haven at 407 Risby Town Road in Mathews County. The project is protested. THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE THE PROJECT PER STAFF RECOMMENDATION WITH SPECIAL PERMIT CONDITIONS TO INCLUDE THE INSTALLATION OF NOISE-ABATING INSULATION IN THE PROPOSED PIER PUMP HOUSING AND THE EXTENSION OF THE RETURN OUTFALL TO MEAN HIGH WATER. [audio]

6. PUBLIC COMMENTS None. [audio]

7. LICENSE STATUS REVIEW: THE COMMISSION HEARD 4 CASES OF LICENSE STATUS REVIEWS. [audio]

8. EMERGENCY REGULATION Proposed amendment to Chapter 4 VAC-20-754-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Importation of Fish, Shellfish or Crustacea" into Virginia waters, to prohibit the importation of the European green crab (green crab). THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO POSTPONE DISCUSSION ON THE EMERGENCY AMENDMENT UNTIL THE APRIL COMMISSION MEETING TO INVESTIGATE THE ABILITY OF THE VMRC TO PROHIBIT POSSESSION OF NON-NATIVE SPECIES. [audio]

9. PUBLIC HEARING Proposal to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-890-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the Channeled Whelk," to remove the use of a culling ring in the measurement of channeled whelk and maintain only a length measure; to redefine the container used by Law Enforcement to better enforce the sublegal size tolerance allowed in the harvest and landing of channeled whelk; and, to allow harvest and landings of any whelk species by channeled whelk pots. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED AMENDING CHAPTER 4 VAC 20-890-10 ET SEQ., "PERTAINING TO THE CHANNELED WHELK," TO REMOVE THE USE OF A CULLING RING IN THE MEASUREMENT OF CHANNELED WHELK AND MAINTAIN ONLY A LENGTH MEASURE; TO REDEFINE THE CONTAINER USED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT TO BETTER ENFORCE THE SUBLEGAL SIZE TOLERANCE ALLOWED IN THE HARVEST AND LANDING OF CHANNELED WHELK; AND TO ALLOW HARVEST AND LANDINGS OF ANY WHELK SPECIES BY CHANNELED WHELK POTS. [audio]

10. PUBLIC HEARING Proposal to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-740-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the Snagging of Fish," to include a prohibition on the towing of any finfish species regulated by a possession limit. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED AMENDING CHAPTER 4 VAC 20-740-10 ET SEQ.,"PERTAINING TO THE SNAGGING OF FISH," TO INCLUDE A PROHIBITION ON TOWING OF STRIPED BASS AND COBIA. [audio]

11. PUBLIC HEARING Proposal to amend Chapter 4VAC 20-510-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Amberjack and Cobia," and Chapter 4VAC 20-252-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the taking of Striped Bass," to adjust the mandatory reporting deadline from 15 days to 21 days after the season closure and to add compliance language which includes the failure to report any one year will result in the loss of eligibility for that permit the following year. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE REQUEST TO AMEND CHAPTER 4 VAC 20-252-10 ET SEQ., "PERTAINING TO STRIPED BASS," AND CHAPTER 4 VAC 20-510-10 ET SEQ., "PERTAINING TO AMBERJACK AND COBIA," TO MODIFY MANDATORY RECREATIONAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS TO INCREASE THE REPORTING DEADLINE TO 21 DAYS AFTER THE CLOSE OF A SEASON AND TO INCLUDE LANGUAGE THAT CLEARLY INDICATES THAT A PERMITTEE SHALL BE INELIGIBLE FOR THE PERMIT FOR ONLY THE FOLLOWING YEAR IF THEY FAIL TO REPORT WITHIN THE DEADLINE. [audio]

12. PUBLIC HEARING Proposal to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-1120-10 et seq."Pertaining to Tilefish and Grouper," to remove the permitting and mandatory reporting requirements. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE REQUEST TO REPEAL SECTION 31 OF CHAPTER 4 VAC 20-1120 "PERTAINING TO TILEFISH AND GROUPER," TO ELIMINATE THE PERMITTING AND MANDATORY REPORTING REQUIREMENTS. [audio]

13. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING A request for an April public hearing to consider amending Chapter 4 VAC 20-490-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Sharks," to establish the May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2020 commercial spiny dogfish harvest quota as 2,215,484 pounds. The current season quota is 4,123,239 pounds. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE REQUEST FOR A PUBLIC HEARING TO ESTABLISH THE MAY 1, 2019 THROUGH APRIL 30, 2020 COMMERCIAL SPINY DOGFISH HARVEST QUOTA AT 2,215,484 POUNDS. [audio]

14. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING Proposal to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-450-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the Taking of Bluefish," to establish the 2019 Virginia commercial bluefish quota as 915,857 pounds. The 2018 Virginia commercial bluefish quota was 860,518 pounds. THE COMMISSION APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY THE REQUEST FOR A PUBLIC HEARING TO AMEND CHAPTER 4 VAC 20-450-10 ET SEQ., "PERTAINING TO THE TAKING OF BLUEFISH", TO ESTABLISH THE 2019 VIRGINIA COMMERCIAL BLUEFISH QUOTA AS 915,857 POUNDS. [audio]

15. RECOMMENDATION Funding Recommendation for a river herring sampling project from the Virginia Marine Fishing Improvement Fund. THE COMMISSION APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY FUNDING THE RIVER HERRING SAMPLING PROJECT FROM THE MARINE FISHING IMPROVEMENT FUND, FOR EXPENDITURES TOTALING $40,000.00. [audio]

16. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING Proposal to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-950-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Black Sea Bass," to establish the 2019 recreational fishery management measures, in accordance with the results from the 2019 February recreational season. The 2018 recreational black sea bass fishery was managed by a 12 ½-inch minimum size limit, total length, a 15-fish possession and an open season from May 15 through December 31. THE COMMISSION APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY THE REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4 VAC 20-950-10 ET SEQ., "PERTAINING TO BLACK SEA BASS," TO ESTABLISH THE 2019 RECREATIONAL FISHERY MANAGEMENT MEASURES, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RESULTS FROM THE 2019 FEBRUARY RECREATIONAL SEASON. [audio]



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