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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 490. Pertaining to Sharks
3/29/2020

4VAC20-490-20. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Agent" means any person who possesses the Commercial Fisherman Registration License, fishing gear license, or fishing permit of a registered commercial fisherman in order to fish that commercial fisherman's gear or sell that commercial fisherman's harvest.

"Carcass length" means that length measured in a straight line from the anterior edge of the first dorsal fin to the posterior end of the shark carcass.

"COLREGS Line" means the COLREGS Demarcation Line, as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (33 CFR 80.510 Chesapeake Bay Entrance, VA).

"Commercial shark fisherman" means any commercial fisherman permitted to land or possess sharks (excluding spiny dogfish) that has landed and sold one pound of shark or more (excludes spiny dogfish) in that calendar year (January 1 through December 31).

"Commercially permitted aggregated large coastal shark" means any of the following species:

Blacktip, Carcharhinus limbatus

Bull, Carcharhinus leucas

Lemon, Negaprion brevirostris

Nurse, Ginglymostoma cirratum

Silky, Carcharhinus falciformis

Spinner, Carcharhinus brevipinna

Tiger, Galeocerdo cuvier

"Commercially permitted hammerhead shark" means any of the following species:

Great hammerhead, Sphyrna mokarran

Scalloped hammerhead, Sphyrna lewini

Smooth hammerhead, Sphyrna zygaena

"Commercially permitted nonblacknose small coastal shark" means any of the following species:

Atlantic sharpnose, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae

Bonnethead, Sphyrna tiburo

Finetooth, Carcharhinus isodon

"Commercially permitted pelagic shark" means any of the following species:

Blue, Prionace glauca

Oceanic whitetip, Carcharhinus longimanus

Porbeagle, Lamna nasus

Shortfin mako, Isurus oxyrinchus

Thresher, Alopias vulpinus

"Commercially prohibited shark" means any of the following species:

Atlantic angel, Squatina dumeril

Basking, Cetorhinus maximus

Bigeye sand tiger, Odontaspis noronhai

Bigeye sixgill, Hexanchus nakamurai

Bigeye thresher, Alopias superciliosus

Bignose, Carcharhinus altimus

Blacknose, Carcharhinus acronotus

Caribbean reef, Carcharhinus perezii

Caribbean sharpnose, Rhizoprionodon porosus

Dusky, Carcharhinus obscurus

Galapagos, Carcharhinus galapagensis

Longfin mako, Isurus paucus

Narrowtooth, Carcharhinus brachyurus

Night, Carcharhinus signatus

Sand tiger, Carcharias taurus

Sevengill, Heptranchias perlo

Sixgill, Hexanchus griseus

Smalltail, Carcharhinus porosus

Whale, Rhincodon typus

White, Carcharodon carcharias

"Control rule" means a time-certain date, past, present or future, used to establish participation in a limited entry fishery and may or may not include specific past harvest amounts.

"Dressed weight" means the result from processing a fish by removal of head, viscera, and fins, but does not include removal of the backbone, halving, quartering, or otherwise further reducing the carcass.

"Finning" means removing the fins and returning the remainder of the shark to the sea.

"Fork length" means the length of a fish measured from the most forward projection of the snout, with the mouth closed, to the fork of the tail along the midline, using a straight-line measure, not measured over the curve of the body.

"Large mesh gill net" means any gill net with a stretched mesh of greater than five inches.

"Longline" means any fishing gear that is set horizontally, either anchored, floating or attached to a vessel, and that consists of a mainline or groundline, greater than 1,000 feet in length, with multiple leaders (gangions) and hooks, whether retrieved by hand or mechanical means.

"Movable gill net" means any gill net other than a staked gill net.

"Permitted commercial gear" means rod and reel, handlines, shark shortlines, small mesh gill nets, large mesh gill nets, pound nets, and weirs.

"Recreational shore angler" means a person neither fishing from a vessel nor transported to or from a fishing location by a vessel.

"Recreational vessel angler" means a person fishing from a vessel or transported to or from a fishing location by a vessel.

"Recreationally permitted shark" means any of the following species:

Atlantic sharpnose, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae

Blacknose, Carcharhinus acronotus

Blacktip, Carcharhinus limbatus

Blue, Prionace glauca

Bonnethead, Sphyrna tiburo

Bull, Carcharhinus leucas

Finetooth, Carcharhinus isodon

Great hammerhead, Sphyrna mokarran

Lemon, Negaprion brevirostris

Nurse, Ginglymostoma cirratum

Oceanic whitetip, Carcharhinus longimanus

Porbeagle, Lamna nasus

Scalloped hammerhead, Sphyrna lewini

Shortfin mako, Isurus oxyrinchus

Smooth dogfish, Mustelus canis

Smooth hammerhead, Sphyrna zygaena

Spinner, Carcharhinus brevipinna

Thresher, Alopias vulpinus

Tiger, Galeocerdo cuvier

"Recreationally prohibited shark" means any of the following species:

Atlantic angel, Squatina dumeril

Basking, Cetorhinus maximus

Bigeye sand tiger, Odontaspis noronhai

Bigeye sixgill, Hexanchus nakamurai

Bigeye thresher, Alopias superciliosus

Bignose, Carcharhinus altimus

Caribbean reef, Carcharhinus perezii

Caribbean sharpnose, Rhizoprionodon porosus

Dusky, Carcharhinus obscurus

Galapagos, Carcharhinus galapagensis

Longfin mako, Isurus paucus

Narrowtooth, Carcharhinus brachyurus

Night, Carcharhinus signatus

Sand tiger, Carcharias taurus

Sandbar, Carcharhinus plumbeus

Sevengill, Heptranchias perlo

Silky, Carcharhinus falciformis

Sixgill, Hexanchus griseus

Smalltail, Carcharhinus porosus

Whale, Rhincodon typus

White, Carcharodon carcharias

"Research only shark" means any of the following species:

Sandbar, Carcharhinus plumbeus

"Shark shortline" means a fish trotline that is set horizontally, either anchored, floating or attached to a vessel, and that consists of a mainline or groundline, 1,000 feet in length or less, with multiple leaders (gangions) and no more than 50 corrodible circle hooks, whether retrieved by hand or mechanical means.

"Small mesh gill net" means any gill net with a stretched mesh of equal to or less than five inches.

"Smooth dogfish" means any shark of the species Mustelus canis. Smooth dogfish are also known as "smoothhound shark."

"Snout" means the most forward projection from a fish's head that includes the upper and lower jaw.

"Spiny dogfish" means any shark of the species Squalus acanthias.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0063 § 2, Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 18, eff. May 1, 1997; Volume 17, Issue 03, eff. October 15, 2000; Volume 22, Issue 08, eff. December 1, 2005; Volume 25, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2009; Volume 26, Issue 06, eff. November 1 2009; Volume 26, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2010; Volume 26, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2010; Volume 27, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2011; Volume 29, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2013; Volume 30, Issue 15, eff. March 1, 2014; Volume 31, Issue 04, eff. October 1, 2014; Volume 32, Issue 15, eff. March 1, 2016; Volume 35, Issue 02, eff. September 1, 2018.

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