Tidal Fish Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

· Registered
337 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Should Commercials Dominate VMRC
Your Action is Urgently Needed

"SB1087 would be a tremendous setback for marine resources in VA. It will reverse 10 years of hard work" ...CCA Member Parks Rountrey

Senate Passes SB1087, VMRC Commercial Control Threatened

SB1087 passed the state senate on Wednesday, and now moves to the House of Delegates. The bill expands the number of associate VMRC commissioners from eight to ten, and dedicates THREE seats to commercial fishermen. One seat would remain dedicated to recreational fishing.

If this bill passes the House of Delegates, commercial fishing interests will have a voting block that will dominate decisions of the VMRC on all marine resources.

The speed with which this bill is moving through the General Assembly suggests that legislators are oblivious to the fact that they would be handing over virtual control of all of Virginia's marine resources to commercial fishing interests. The House will take up this bill next week, so we have about 3 or 4 days to inform our delegates that this is a dangerous bill.

You are urged to call and e-mail your Delegate, (click here to ID your delegate) Welcome to the Virginia General Assembly - Who's My Legislator? and ask them (or their legislative aide) to vote NO on tripling the commercial fishing seats on the VMRC. Also, call and e-mail the delegates on the Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources (listed below).

The current administration has not taken a position on this bill. Call Governor Tim Kaine's constituent hot line, and ask him to object to this bill. The number is 804-786-2211.

Here are some relevant points:

(1) The VMRC is charged with the responsibility of managing our public marine resources for the benefit of all Virginians. Over 60% of the agenda of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission relates to habitat issues.

(2) SB1087 would add two more dedicated commercial watermen to the commission, giving commercial interest THREE dedicated seats. This is clearly unbalanced for a Commission that is supposed to manage public marine resources for the benefit of all state residents, not just those who fish commercially or for recreation. SB1087 would destroy a balance, which has taken years to achieve.

(3) There is no justification whatever for creating a commercial watermen voting block, which will dominate VMRC decisions on all marine resources for years to come. Marine resources management should be driven by science and facts, not by the bias of any particular interest group.

(4) Commercial watermen are pushing for more representation by arguing that their arguments on the decline of the crab harvest were not properly heard by VMRC. On the contrary, VMRC held numerous Crab Management Advisory Committee meetings where most of the members are commercial crabbers. There were three more Commission meetings during which everybody who wanted to speak on the subject of crabs was given an opportunity. Scientific studies showed an alarming decline in the crab population, and the Governor of Virginia mandated VMRC to come up with regulations that reduced the female crab harvest by 34%. In an article in the Virginian Pilot on January 28th, it was reported that the female crab harvest for 2008 was 9.4 million pounds which is a 37% decline over the average haul for the last three years so the regulations approved by VMRC have been successful so far.

Call and e-mail these committee members:

House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources

Delegate Harvey Morgan (Chair), Gloucester, (804) 698-1098, [email protected]
Delegate M. Kirkland Cox, Chesterfield, (804) 698-1066,
[email protected]
*Delegate Beverly J. Sherwood, Winchester, (804) 698-1029, [email protected]
*Delegate R. Lee Ware, Jr., Powhatan, (804) 698-1065, [email protected]
Delegate Thomas C. Wright, Jr. Victoria, (804) 698-1061, [email protected]
Delegate Robert D. Orrock, Sr., Thornburg, (804) 698-1054, [email protected]
*Delegate Christopher B. Saxman, Staunton, (804)698-1020, [email protected]
*Delegate Clarke N. Hogan, South Boston, (804) 698-1060, [email protected]
*Delegate Edward T. Scott, Culpeper, (804) 698-1030, [email protected]
Delegate Daniel W. Marshall, III, Danville, (804) 698-1014, [email protected]
*Delegate Matthew J. Lohr, Harrisonburg, (804) 698-1026, [email protected]
Delegate Charles D. Poindexter, Glade Hill, (804) 698-1009, [email protected]
*Delegate Brenda L. Pogge, Yorktown, (804) 698-1096, [email protected]
Delegate Kenneth R. Plum, Reston, (804) 698-1036, [email protected]
Delegate James M. Shuler, Blacksburg, (804) 698-1012, [email protected]
Delegate Albert C. Eisenberg, Arlington, (804) 698-1047, [email protected]
*Delegate Stephen C. Shannon, Vienna, (804) 698-1035, [email protected]
*Delegate Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr. ,Accomac, (804) 698-1000, [email protected]
*Delegate David L. Bulova, Fairfax Station, (804) 698-1037, [email protected]
*Delegate Margaret G. Vanderhye, McLean, (804) 698-1034, [email protected]
Delegate Robert W. Mathieson, Virginia Beach, (804) 698-1021, [email protected]
Delegate Joseph F. Bouchard, Virginia Beach, (804) 698-1083, [email protected]

* Denotes members of the Chesapeake subcommittee who are likely to first hear the bill. Please call and e-mail each one.

The preceding was provided as a public service by the Coastal Conservation Association Virginia (CCA VA). Feel free to forward it to your associates. If you have any comments concerning this issue, or would like to have your name added/removed from the distribution list, reply to this message. The purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on the conservation of marine resources. CCA VA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose goal is to Conserve, Protect, and Restore marine resources for the benefit of all Virginians. Please visit our website located at Welcome to Coastal Conservation Association Virginia for more information.

· Registered
531 Posts
I googled the bill and found this summary.

Marine Resources Commission. Requires that, among the eight citizen members of the Marine Resources Commission, one member shall be both a commercial fisherman as defined in § 28.2-241 of the Code of Virginia and a holder of an active license to take crabs and one member shall be a member of the Virginia Waterman's Association

among the eight citizen members this says that they are keeping the citizen membership at 8 and yet the cca alert states that they are proposing to create 2 more positions. Is there a link to the actual bill, or is this simply more cca mis information.


· Registered
602 Posts
For what it's worth

The VMRC is charged with the responsibility of managing our public marine resources for the benefit of all Virginians."

Our Mission: The Marine Resources Commission serves as stewards of Virginia's marine and aquatic resources, and protectors of its tidal waters and homelands, for present and future generations.

"VMRC spends most of their time now with Habitat issues...sand dunes, undersea grasses, keeping statistics for NMFS, encrochments on State owned bottom, pier and jetty requests, dredging, waterfront land owner issues and disputes, marina, Homeland security, water quality, seafood marketing, some minor recreational and commercial rules and regs."

Minor? Let's remember this next time recreational creel limits and slots are discussed on this forum: the rules and regulations are all "minor."
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.