Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
4/9/2020

Chapter 450. Pertaining to the Taking of Bluefish

4VAC20-450-10. Purpose.

The purposes of this chapter are to manage the recreational harvest of bluefish and to establish a commercial quota system for Virginia bluefish landings, in cooperation with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, to prevent overfishing.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0059 § 1, eff. July 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 8, eff. December 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 26, eff. September 1, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 17, eff. April 14, 1995; Volume 28, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2012; Volume 30, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2014.

4VAC20-450-15. Definitions.

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

"Bluefish" means any fish of the species Pomatomus saltatrix.

"Captain" means the person licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry passengers for hire who operates the charter boat or head boat.

"Charter vessel" or "for-hire vessel" means a vessel operating with a captain who possesses either a Class A Fishing Guide License, Class B Fishing Guide License, or Fishing Guide Reciprocity Permit.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2019; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 15, eff. March 1, 2020.

4VAC20-450-20. Bluefish possession limits.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally to harvest or possess more than three bluefish, except as described in subsection B of this section. Any bluefish taken after the possession limit has been reached shall be returned to the water immediately.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing from a charter or for-hire vessel to harvest or possess more than five bluefish. Any bluefish taken after the possession limit has been reached shall be returned to the water immediately.

C. When fishing from a boat or vessel where the entire catch is held in a common hold or container, the possession limit shall be for the boat or vessel and shall be equal to the number of persons on board who are legally eligible to fish multiplied by the personal possession limits as described in subsections A and B of this section. The captain or operator of the boat or vessel shall be responsible for any boat or vessel possession limit.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0059 § 2, eff. July 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 8, eff. December 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 26, eff. September 1, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 17, eff. April 14, 1995; Volume 14, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 1997; Volume 30, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2014; Volume 36, Issue 15, eff. March 1, 2020.

4VAC20-450-30. Commercial landings quota.

A. The commercial landings of bluefish shall be limited to 915,857 pounds during the current calendar year.

B. When it is projected that 95% of the commercial landings quota has been realized, a notice will be posted to close commercial harvest and landings from the bluefish fishery within five days of posting.

C. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest or land bluefish for commercial purposes after the closure date set forth in the notice described in subsection B of this section.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0059 § 3, eff. July 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 8, eff. December 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 26, eff. September 1, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 17, eff. April 14, 1995; Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. May 1, 2001; Volume 21, Issue 13, eff. February 2, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 20, eff. May 26, 2006; Volume 23, Issue 17, eff. March 30, 2007; Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. June 1, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 21, eff. June 1, 2009; Volume 26, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 2010; Volume 27, Issue 21, eff. June 1, 2011; Volume 28, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2012; Volume 29, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2013; Volume 30, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2014; Volume 31, Issue 14, eff. February 26, 2015; Volume 33, Issue 2, eff. September 1, 2016; Volume 33, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2017; Volume 34, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2018; Volume 35, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2019.

4VAC20-450-40. 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 VR450-01-0059 § 4, eff. July 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 8, eff. December 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 26, eff. September 1, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 17, eff. April 14, 1995.



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