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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 1270. Pertaining to Atlantic Menhaden
6/16/2024

4VAC20-1270-30. Total allowable landings for menhaden; allocation, accountability, overages, restrictions, closures, state-to-state transfers, and transfers between sectors.

A. Total allowable commercial landings for menhaden shall be equivalent to 75.21% of the annual total allowable catch (TAC) set by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) after 1.0% of the TAC is set aside by the ASMFC for episodic events.

B. Any portion of the 1.0% of the coastwide TAC set aside by the ASMFC for episodic events that is unused as of September 1 of any calendar year shall be returned to Virginia and other states according to allocation guidelines established by the ASMFC. Any such return of this portion of the coastwide TAC to Virginia shall increase the total allowable commercial landings for that year.

C. Total amount of allowable commercial landings in subsection A of this section shall be allocated as quotas among three sectors of the menhaden fishery in proportion to each sector's share of average landings from 2002 through 2011, as described in subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 of this subsection.

1. The purse seine menhaden reduction sector shall be allocated a quota of 90.04% of allowable commercial menhaden landings.

2. The purse seine menhaden bait sector shall be allocated a quota of 8.38% of allowable commercial menhaden landings.

3. The non-purse seine menhaden bait sector shall be allocated a quota of 1.58% of allowable commercial menhaden landings.

D. If the total allowable commercial landings specified in subsection A of this section are exceeded in any calendar year, the total allowable commercial landings for the subsequent calendar year shall be reduced by the amount of the overage. Such overage shall be deducted from the sector of the menhaden fishery that exceeded the allocation specified in subsection C of this section, with the exception of the non-purse seine menhaden bait sector, which shall move into the incidental catch provision outlined in subdivision F 3 of this section.

E. It shall be unlawful for any person to take or catch menhaden using a purse seine net except in accordance with the seasons, areas, and gear restrictions as set forth in §§ 28.2-409 and 28.2-410 of the Code of Virginia.

F. It shall be unlawful to harvest or land in Virginia any menhaden after the Commissioner of the Marine Resources Commission (commissioner) projects and announces that 100% of the total allowable landings for any sector has been taken. The commissioner may reopen a fishery sector if, after all reports as described in 4VAC20-1270-60 have been received, the portion of the total allowable landings has not been harvested by that sector.

1. The commissioner shall announce the date of closure when the total allowable landings for the purse seine menhaden reduction sector is projected to be taken.

2. The commissioner shall announce the date of closure when the total allowable landings for the purse seine menhaden bait sector is projected to be taken.

3. The commissioner shall announce the date of closure when the total allowable commercial landings for the non-purse seine menhaden bait sector is projected to be taken. Once this closure is announced, any person licensed in the non-purse seine menhaden bait sector may possess and land up to 6,000 pounds of menhaden per calendar day as bycatch. Any two persons licensed in the non-purse seine menhaden bait sector may possess and land up to 12,000 pounds of menhaden bycatch when working together from the same vessel using stationary multi-species gear per the ASMFC incidental catch provision.

G. The commissioner may request a transfer of menhaden quota from any other state that is a member of the ASMFC. If Virginia receives a transfer of menhaden quota in any calendar year from another state, the total allowable commercial landings for that calendar year shall increase by the amount of transferred quota. It shall be unlawful for this quota transfer to be applied to the Bay Cap quota as described in 4VAC20-1270-35. The commissioner may transfer menhaden quota to another state only if there is unused menhaden quota at the end of the calendar year.

H. The Marine Resources Commission shall establish a reciprocal temporary transferable quota system between the purse seine menhaden reduction sector and the purse seine menhaden bait sector. Any transfer of menhaden quota between these sectors shall be limited by the following conditions:

1. A transfer of quota to the purse seine menhaden bait sector from the purse seine reduction sector shall be allocated to each qualified licensee's percentage share of the purse seine menhaden bait sector quota.

2. No transfer of quota to the purse seine menhaden bait sector shall be authorized by the Marine Resources Commission unless all qualified individuals of the purse seine menhaden bait sector and the purse seine menhaden reduction sector agree to the transfer and document the transfer on a form provided by the Marine Resources Commission, notarized by a lawful notary public, and approved by the commissioner.

3. No transfer of quota to the purse seine reduction sector shall be authorized by the Marine Resources Commission unless at least one qualified individual of the purse seine menhaden bait sector and the purse seine menhaden reduction sector agree to the transfer and document the transfer on a form provided by the Marine Resources Commission, notarized by a lawful notary public, and approved by the commissioner.

4. No transfer shall be authorized by the Marine Resources Commission unless the transferring qualified individuals of the purse seine menhaden bait sector and the purse seine menhaden reduction sector have submitted up-to-date records of all commercial landings of menhaden to the Marine Resources Commission prior to such transfer.

5. Quota transfers between the purse seine menhaden reduction sector and purse seine menhaden bait sector shall be effective only during the calendar year in which the transfer is approved.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 17, eff. April 1, 2013; amended, Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2015; Volume 31, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2015; Volume 33, Issue 26, eff. August 1, 2017; Volume 36, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2020; Volume 37, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2021; Volume 38, Issue 15, eff. March 1, 2022; Volume 38, Issue 24, eff. July 1, 2022; Volume 39, Issue 10, eff. December 31, 2022; Volume 39, Issue 15, eff. March 3, 2023.

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