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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 270. Pertaining to Blue Crab Fishery
4/8/2020

4VAC20-270-30. Daily Time Limits.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person licensed to catch and sell crabs taken by crab pot or peeler pot to take and harvest crabs from any crab pot or peeler pot, or to retrieve, bait, or set any crab pot or peeler pot, except during the lawful daily time periods described in subsections A, B, C, and D of this section. The lawful daily time periods for the commercial harvesting of crabs by crab pot or peeler pot shall be from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the lawful seasons, as described in 4VAC20-270-40 A, except as described in subsections B, C, and D of this section. The lawful daily time periods for the commercial harvesting of crabs by crab pot or peeler pot shall be from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the months of May, June, July, and August, as described in 4VAC20-270-40 A, except as specified in subsections B, C, and D of this section. Crab pots or peeler pots already on board a boat at the end of the lawful daily time period, as defined in subsections A, B, and C of this section, may be set immediately following the end of lawful daily time period to one hour after the lawful daily time period ends.

B. Any licensed crab pot or peeler pot fisherman who provides an opinion and supporting documentation from an attending physician to the commissioner of an existing medical condition that prevents him from adhering to the daily time limit established in subsection A of this section may be permitted by the commissioner or his designee to take and harvest crabs from his crab pot or peeler pot, or to retrieve, bait, or set his crab pot or peeler pot during an alternate eight-hour daily time limit. That alternative eight-hour daily time limit will be prescribed by the commissioner or his designee in accordance with the medical condition that forms a basis for the exception to the daily time limit as described in subsection A of this section.

Nothing in this regulation shall prohibit any licensed crab pot or peeler pot fisherman, who has been granted an exception to the eight-hour work schedule, on a medical basis, from using another licensed crab pot or peeler pot fisherman as a mate; provided, however, during the designated alternate work hours, only the crab pots or peeler pots of the fisherman receiving the exception shall be fished. Further, it shall be unlawful for the licensed crab fisherman, who has been granted an exception, or his mate, who is a licensed crab pot or peeler pot fisherman, to fish, set, retrieve, or bait, during the alternate work hours, any crab pot or peeler pot that is not owned and licensed by the fisherman granted the exception.

C. Any licensed crab pot or peeler pot fisherman who requests and obtains an alternate eight-hour daily time limit permit shall be authorized to take and harvest crabs from his crab pot or peeler pot or to retrieve, bait, or set his crab pot or peeler pot one hour earlier than described in subsection A of this section, only for the months of June, July, August, and September. During the months of March, April, May, October, and November, the lawful daily time period described in subsection A of this section applies to any crab pot or peeler pot licensee. The alternate lawful daily time periods for the commercial harvesting of crabs by crab pot or peeler pot shall be from 4 a.m. to 12 noon from June 1 through August 31 and from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. from September 1 through September 30. Individuals must apply for this permit on an annual basis and shall adhere to the alternate daily time limit from the day the permit is issued through September 30, as well as subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 of this subsection.

1. It shall be unlawful for two or more licensed crab pot or peeler pot fishermen, or their agents, to crab aboard the same vessel if their authorized eight-hour daily time limits are not identical.

2. After January 1, 2012, requests for an alternate eight-hour time limit permit shall be submitted to the Marine Resources Commission annually and prior to May 15. Requests submitted on or after May 15 will not be considered.

3. Once any legal crab pot or peeler pot licensee obtains an alternate eight-hour daily time limit permit, that permittee shall be legally bound by the alternate eight-hour daily time limit as described in this subsection.

D. The lawful daily time periods for the commercial harvest of crabs by crab pot or peeler pot may be rescinded by the Commissioner of Marine Resources when he determines that a pending weather event is sufficient cause for the removal of crab pots from the tidal waters of the Commonwealth.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0036 § 3, eff. December 1, 1985; amended, Volume 04, Issue 20, eff. May 23, 1988; Volume 05, Issue 08, eff. January 1, 1989; Volume 05, Issue 19, eff. May 4, 1989; Volume 05, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1989; Volume 11, Issue 07, eff. January 1, 1995; Volume 11, Issue 14, eff. March 2, 1995; Volume 18, Issue 14, eff. March 5, 2002; Volume 20, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2004; Volume 20, Issue 26, eff. August 6, 2004; Volume 21, Issue 25, eff. July 29, 2005; Volume 23, Issue 17, eff. March 30, 2007; Volume 24, Issue 19, eff. April 30, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 16, eff. March 26, 2009; Volume 27, Issue 21, eff. June 1, 2011; Volume 29, Issue 08, eff. November 26, 2012; Volume 30, Issue 07, eff. November 21, 2013; Volume 30, Issue 24, eff. July 1, 2014.

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