Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text

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Action:
Modify Oyster Resources User Fee Transfer Eligibility
Stage: Final
 
4VAC20-720-15 Control date, license moratorium, transferability, and agents

A. The commission hereby establishes July 1, 2014, as the control date for management of all public oyster fisheries in Virginia. Participation by any individual in any public oyster fishery after the control date may not be considered in the calculation or distribution of oyster fishing rights should entry limitations be established. Any individual entering the public oyster fishery after the control date will forfeit any right to future participation in the public oyster fishery should further entry limitations be established by the commission.

B. Only individuals who have paid the oyster resource user fee described in clause (ii) of subsection A of § 28.2-541 of the Code of Virginia in any year from 2013 through 2016 may pay that fee in 2017 for harvest of oysters from public ground in that year. In any year following 2017, eligibility to pay the oyster resource user fee described in clause (ii) of subsection A of § 28.2-541 of the Code of Virginia shall be limited to those individuals who paid the oyster resource user fee for harvest of oysters from public ground in the previous year.

C. Should the number of people eligible to pay the oyster resource user fee described in clause (ii) of subsection A of § 28.2-541 of the Code of Virginia in any given year fall below 600, a random drawing shall be held to award eligibility to pay that oyster resource user fee to individuals who were not previously eligible until the number of persons eligible to pay the fee reaches 600. Any Commercial Fisherman Registration Licensee may apply for the random drawing.

D. Any person eligible to pay the oyster resource user fee described in clause (ii) of subsection A of § 28.2-541 of the Code of Virginia, or such person's legal representative, may transfer the eligibility to pay such user fee to:

1. A transferee who is the transferor's spouse, sibling, parent, child, grandparent, or grandchild and who possesses a current Commercial Fisherman Registration License and intends to participate in the public oyster fishery.

2. A transferee other than a person described in subdivision 1 of this subsection if the transferor has documented by mandatory reporting and buyers reports 40 days or more of public oyster harvest during the previous calendar year paid the oyster resource user fee described in § 28.2-541(A)(ii) of the Code of Virginia for the past five consecutive calendar years.

All transfers under this subsection shall be documented on a form provided by the Marine Resources Commission.

E. Exceptions to subsection B of this section shall only apply to those individuals who previously paid the oyster resource user fee described in clause (ii) of subsection A of § 28.2-541 of the Code of Virginia and shall be based on documented medical hardships or active military leave that prevented the fisherman from fully satisfying the requirements of subsection B of this section. The Commissioner, in consultation with the Shellfish Management Division, shall have final authority of approval or denial concerning such medical hardship or active military leave exception requests.

F. No person shall serve as an agent for any public oyster gear licensee.