Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 28.2. Fisheries and Habitat of the Tidal Waters

Article 3. Restrictions on Trawling.

§ 28.2-314. Trawl nets and drag nets prohibited; sale of fish; penalty.

Except as may be provided in § 28.2-315, it is unlawful for any person (i) to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organisms with a trawl net, drag net, or similar device drawn through the waters by a vessel, boat, or other craft or (ii) to buy, sell, or offer for sale any fish taken or caught in the waters of the Commonwealth, or under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, with a trawl net, drag net, or similar device.

A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 28-68; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-67; 1973, c. 119; 1979, c. 18; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-315. Fishing with trawl net within three-mile limit; license fee.

A. It is unlawful to catch fish, shellfish, or marine organisms within the three-mile limit of the Virginia Atlantic shoreline with trawl nets or similar devices. However, the Commission may issue licenses to trawl within the three-mile limit from Cape Charles north to the Maryland line, except during September and October and from 36° 40' north latitude south to the North Carolina line at any time, and from Cape Henry south to 36° 40' north latitude between October 1 and May 1.

B. The Commission, to protect or promote the fisheries, may close and open the area, or any part thereof, described in subsection A to trawling or restrict the manner, method, size, and season of catch.

C. The license fee to fish with a trawl net or similar device in the area described in subsection A shall be $100 or as subsequently revised by the Commission pursuant to § 28.2-201 for each boat so employed.

Code 1950, § 28-71; 1960, c. 517; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-70; 1974, c. 85; 1979, c. 18, § 28.1-69.1; 1979, c. 274; 1981, c. 52; 1983, c. 307; 1992, c. 836; 2009, c. 9.

§ 28.2-316. Trawling boat not granted license for other fishing device; penalty.

It is unlawful for any vessel, boat or other craft equipped for trawling and having a trawl net on board to be licensed for any other net or fishing device.

A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 28-69; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-68; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-317. Prima facie evidence of violation; penalty.

Any vessel, boat, or other craft found in the waters of the Commonwealth, or in the waters under the joint jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, equipped for trawling and having a trawling net, drag net, or a similar device aboard with fresh or live fish on deck or in any portion of such vessel, boat or craft shall constitute prima facie evidence that the operator and master and members of the crew are guilty of trawling.

Code 1950, § 28-72; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-71; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-318. Exemption for certain trawling activity.

Nothing in this article shall prohibit (i) the use of trawl nets to catch fish outside the territorial limits of Virginia or (ii) the transport of such fish into Virginia ports for sale.

Code 1950, § 28-75; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-72; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-319. Forfeiture of fishing gear, etc.

Any net, pot, or other fishing device or gear used in violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be seized and forfeited to the Commonwealth. The forfeiture shall be enforced as provided in Chapter 22.1 (§ 19.2-386.1 et seq.) of Title 19.2. The officer or other person seizing the property shall immediately give notice to the attorney for the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 28-75; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-72.1; 1981, c. 525; 1992, c. 836; 2012, cc. 283, 756.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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