Administrative Code

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

Chapter 230. Pertaining to the Harvesting of Surf Clams

4VAC20-230-10. Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to conserve the surf clam resource in the waters of the Commonwealth and to ensure that the surf clam resource within the waters of the Commonwealth and within the jurisdiction of the federal government is managed as a unit stock under consistent management measures.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0030 § 1, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1995.

4VAC20-230-20. Definitions.

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

"Surf clam" means the species Spisula solidissima.

"Cage" means a standard unit of measure presumed to hold 32 bushels of surf clams or ocean quahogs in the shell. The outside dimensions of a standard cage generally are three inches wide, four inches long, and five inches high.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0030 § 2, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1995.

4VAC20-230-30. License.

Any person, desiring to harvest surf clams from the waters under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth shall first obtain a license from the Marine Resources Commission for each boat so engaged. Such license shall be for one calendar year.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0030 § 3, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1995; amended Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 4, eff. December 1, 2005.

4VAC20-230-40. Minimum length.

A. A minimum size limit for surf clams of 4¾ inches in length is imposed on all surf clams coming from the waters of the Commonwealth, and it shall be unlawful for any person to possess clams less than the minimum size provided, however, that:

1. Ten percent of all full cages in possession, to the nearest whole cage (or at least one cage), can be withheld by the operator from inspection by the authorized officer.

2. As many as 240 surf clams in any full cage inspected by the authorized officer may be less than 4¾ inches in length. If any inspected cage is found to be in violation, all cages in possession and not withheld subject to subdivision A 1 of this section will be deemed in violation of the size limit.

3. To maintain consistency of management measures between state and federal jurisdictions, and when it is deemed in the best interest of the surf clam industry to do so, the Marine Resources Commission may by notice suspend the provisions of this section. Such suspension shall be on an annual basis.

B. Length is measured along the longest dimension of the surf clam.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0030 § 4, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1995.

4VAC20-230-50. Enforcement.

Any marine police officer of the Marine Resources Commission, and any U.S. Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service law-enforcement officer, shall have and is hereby granted authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0030 § 5, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1995; amended Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 4, eff. December 1, 2005.

4VAC20-230-60. Penalty.

As set forth in § 28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provisions 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 VR450-01-0030 § 6, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1995.



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