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Someone sent me an email asking about the pound nets and I wrote something up so I figured I would post it here. I added the crab item also.

The Commission approved a crab pot permit waiting list system where they took any permits with ZERO pounds reported landings for the base years of 2004 to 2007 and set them aside until the crabs reach the target level for 3 years. Exceptions were made for individuals on the list who were also on the list of 53 who were eligible for the crab dredge fishery which was closed. The about 500 hard crab permits and 300 peeler pot permits were affected. This was about 1/3 of the total crab pot permits.

Pound nets.

One pound net about 3000 feet off shore near Windmill point had a hearing. There was two objections that caused it to go to public hearing. One was withdrawn prior to the Commission meeting. No one showed up at the commission meeting to object. It was approved in short order.

The first two nets off of Lynhaven had a public hearing also. About a half a dozen individuals from the local area spoke in objection to the permits and a few individuals spoke in support.

The application was disapproved. The clincher was dolphin interactions. Apparently there were 40 confirmed dolphin deaths relating to the nets in this area over the past 10 years and more interactions in which the stranding team was able to save them. That is a really big number. In the past such interactions have led to severe restrictions on commercial fishing activities. There was a fellow from the neighborhood who works for the stranding team that gave a very good talk on the matter.

The VMRC staff recommendation also did not support the permits, primarily based on the dolphin issue.

One interesting aside was that the applicant stated that he was interesting in getting a weir (over sized pound net) net, staked gill net or fyke net permit in those locations since those gear types did not have to go through the public review cycle. Commissioner Bowman cautioned him to be concerned of the concept of unintended consequences if he were to do so (or something close to that.)

Regarding the meeting and exactly what was said, standard process is that .mp3 files are made available on the VMRC web site a few days after the Commission meeting on their Calendar web page.

Calendar 2008

with the holiday it will probably be sometime early next week. I would suggest that you listen to it.

The other two permits listed below will be heard at the December 16th Commission meeting. It was clearly stated today that acceptance or rejection of these permits had no bearing on the ones for next month. Those that objected today indicated that they would be back in next month.

Officially the public comment period ends on Monday. Standard practice is that once there is a decision to go to public hearing all comments received up until a day or two before the Commission meeting are presented to the Commission. Those received more than a week in advance are included in the Commissioner's packages.

Tom
 
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