Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 960. Pertaining to Tautog

4VAC20-960-48. Commercial permitting and tagging requirements.

A. It shall be unlawful for any registered commercial fisherman to take, catch, or possess any tautog without obtaining a valid Tautog Commercial Permit.

B. It shall be unlawful to land or possess for commercial purposes any tautog that has not been identified with a tag issued by the commission for the current calendar year, applied by the following conditions, except as specified in subsections D and E of this section:

1. Tags must be affixed to the bony portion of the gill cover (operculum) of a whole fish such that the tag number faces outward from the body.

2. Processed or filleted tautog must be accompanied by the tags removed from the fish when processed.

C. It shall be unlawful for any dealer to buy, sell, barter, or trade or offer to buy, sell, barter, or trade any untagged tautog.

D. After the last day of February of the current calendar year, it shall be unlawful for any dealer to buy, sell, barter, or trade or offer to buy, sell, barter, or trade any tautog with a tag issued for any previous calendar year, except to the final consumer.

E. Any person, other than the original harvester, may only possess tautog with a tag issued by a state other than Virginia provided that it is for the purpose of resale and is accompanied by a bill of sale that shall include the name of the seller and the permit or license number of the seller if such permit or license is required in the jurisdiction of harvest.

F. Tags are valid only for use by the permittee to whom the tags were allotted. The permittee shall be on board the vessel when tautog are harvested and tags are applied.

G. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess tags on board a vessel during a closed season or that were issued for any year other than the current calendar year.

H. Possession of any quantity of tautog that exceeds the recreational possession limit described in 4VAC20-960-45 shall be presumed to be for commercial purposes. The possession of any untagged tautog shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this chapter and subject to the provisions of 4VAC20-960-50 and 4VAC20-960-60.

I. It shall be unlawful for a person to possess commercially harvested tautog in a quantity greater than the number of tags in the person's possession. If a permittee violates this section, the entire amount of untagged tautog shall be confiscated or returned to the water.

J. Altering or attempting to alter any tag for the purpose of reuse shall constitute a violation of this chapter.

K. An annual fee of $25 for tags shall be assessed prior to an individual being eligible for a Tautog Commercial Permit.

L. A tautog commercial permittee shall be required to have returned all unused tags from the previous calendar year to the commission by February 15 of the current calendar year. Any unused tags that cannot be returned shall be accounted for by the harvester submitting a notarized affidavit that explains the disposition of the tags.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. January 1, 2020; amended, Virginia Register Volume 40, Issue 13, eff. February 1, 2024.

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