Public Notice:  Proposed Regulations, March 2019

NOTICE

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on proposed amendments to regulations, as shown below. By March 11, 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 no earlier than 12:00 noon, on Tuesday, March 26, 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, March 25, 2019.

I. Chapter 4 VAC 20-740-10 et seq., “Pertaining to the Snagging of Fish”

The Commission proposes 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.

In accordance with Section 28.2-203 of the Code of Virginia, the purpose of this amendment is to promote an avoidance of towing injuries and mortalities to finfish in Virginia waters.

II. Chapter 4 VAC 20-890-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Channeled Whelk”

The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-890-10 et seq., “Pertaining to 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 tolerance allowed in the harvest and landings of channeled whelk; and, to allow harvest and landings of any whelk species by channeled whelk pots.

The purpose of this amendment is mainly to promote consistency in the measurement and culling of channeled whelk, in order to improve conservation of this resource.

III. Chapter 4 VAC 20-1120-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Tilefish and Grouper”

The Commission proposes to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-1120-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Tilefish and Grouper,” to remove the permitting and mandatory reporting requirements.

The purpose of this amendment is to eliminate double reporting of these species, considering for-hire charters are already required to report catch in these fisheries to the federal Vessel Trip Reporting (VTR) program.

IV. 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”

The Commission proposes 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 fishing activity or lack of fishing activity for any one calendar year will result in the loss of eligibility for that permit the following calendar year.

The Commission proposes 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 fishing activity or lack of fishing activity for any one calendar year will result in the loss of eligibility for that permit the following calendar year.

The purpose of these amendments is to increase mandatory reporting rates for these fisheries to ensure that collected information will be of sufficient quality and quantity to be utilized by the Commission.

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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