Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
3/29/2020

Chapter 1120. Pertaining to Tilefish and Grouper

4VAC20-1120-10. Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the conservation of tilefish and grouper and to reduce the potential for overfishing by establishing limits on the harvest and landing of these fish.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2007.

4VAC20-1120-20. Definitions.

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

"Commercial fishing" or "fishing commercially" or "commercial fishery" means fishing by any person where the catch is for sale, barter, trade, or any commercial purpose, or is intended for sale, barter, trade, or any commercial purpose.

"Grouper" means any of the following species:

Black grouper, Mycteroperca bonaci

Coney, Cephalopholis fulva

Gag grouper, Mycteroperca microlepis

Goliath grouper, Epinephelus itajara

Graysby, Cephalopholis cruentata

Misty grouper, Epinephelus mystacinus

Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus

Red grouper, Epinephelus morio

Red Hind, Epinephelus guttatus

Rock Hind, Epinephelus adscensionis

Scamp, Mycteroperca phenax

Snowy grouper, Epinephelus niveatus

Speckled Hind, Epinephelus drummondhayi

Tiger grouper, Mycteroperca tigris

Warsaw grouper, Epinephelus nigritus

Wreckfish, Polyprion americanus

Yellowedge grouper, Epinephelus flavolimbatus

Yellowfin grouper, Mycteroperca venenosa

Yellowmouth grouper, Mycteroperca interstitialis

"Recreational fishing" or "fishing recreationally" or "recreationally fishing" means fishing by any person, whether licensed or exempted from licensing, where the catch is not for sale, barter, trade, or any commercial purpose, or is not intended for sale, barter, trade, or any commercial purpose.

"Recreational vessel" means any private or rental vessel, charter vessel, or headboat participating in the recreational tilefish and grouper fishery.

"Tilefish" means any of the following species:

Blueline tilefish, Caulolatilus microps

Golden tilefish, Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps

Sand tilefish, Malacanthus plumieri

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. June 28, 2007; Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2017; Volume 33, Issue 17, eff. April 1, 2017; Volume 34, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2018.

4VAC20-1120-30. Recreational harvest and possession limit.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally to possess or land more than eight golden tilefish in Virginia tidal waters.

B. The recreational harvest, landing, and possession limit for blueline tilefish for any person fishing from a private or rental vessel shall be three fish. The recreational harvest, landing, and possession limit for blueline tilefish for any person fishing from a for-hire vessel that has been issued a valid Tilefish Charter/Party Permit but does not have a current U.S. Coast Guard certificate of inspection shall be five blueline tilefish per person per trip. The recreational harvest, landing, and possession limit for blueline tilefish for any person fishing from a for-hire vessel that has both a valid Tilefish Charter/Party Permit and a current U.S. Coast Guard certificate of inspection shall be seven blueline tilefish per person per trip.

C. The recreational harvest, landing, and possession limit for grouper, as described in 4VAC20-1120-20, shall be one fish. It shall be unlawful for any person to recreationally harvest, land, or possess more than one grouper within or without Virginia tidal waters.

D. When fishing recreationally from any boat or vessel, where the entire catch is held in a common hold or container, the boat or vessel possession limit for any species described in subsection A or B of this section shall be equal to the sum of the personal possession limits, as described in subsection A or B of this section, of those persons on board legally eligible to fish. The captain or operator of the boat or vessel shall be responsible for any boat or vessel possession limits.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 13, eff. February 1, 2018; Volume 34, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2018.

4VAC20-1120-31. (Repealed.)

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2017; Volume 33, Issue 17, eff. April 1, 2017; repealed, Volume 35, Issue 17, eff. April 1, 2019.

4VAC20-1120-32. (Repealed).

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2017; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 17, eff. April 1, 2017.

4VAC20-1120-35. Recreational blueline tilefish season.

It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally to harvest or possess any blueline tilefish from January 1 through April 30 and from November 1 through December 31.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 6, eff. November 1, 2017; amended, Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2018.

4VAC20-1120-40. Commercial limitations.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person harvesting tilefish when commercial fishing, as described in 4VAC20-1120-20, to do any of the following:

1. Possess aboard any vessel in Virginia waters any amount of tilefish species in excess of 500 pounds whole weight or 455 pounds gutted weight, except as described in subdivision 2 of this subsection.

2. Possess aboard any vessel in Virginia waters any amount of blueline tilefish in excess of 300 pounds whole weight or 273 pounds gutted weight.

3. Possess aboard any vessel any amount of golden tilefish during any in-season closure announced by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

B. It shall be unlawful for any vessel to land in Virginia more than 175 pounds of grouper, as described in 4VAC20-1120-20, per day when commercial fishing.

C. It shall be unlawful for any person to transfer at sea to another person or vessel any harvest of tilefish or grouper.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 12, eff. February 1, 2012; Volume 28, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2012; Volume 34, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2018.

4VAC20-1120-50. Penalty.

As set forth in § 28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter committed by the same person within 12 months of a prior violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2007.

Forms (4VAC20-1120)

2018 Recreational/Charter Reporting Form (rev. 8/2018)



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