VMRC approves changes to crabbing regulations

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Jun 08, 2011 - 04:19 PM

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission held two public hearings about fisheries matters May 24 at commission headquarters in Newport News.

The commission voted 9-0 to amend the current regulation pertaining to crabbing to allow crab pot and peeler pot licensees to be permitted for an alternate lawful daily time period for commercial harvesting activities.

Spokesman John Bull said this alternate daily time period would allow commercial crabbers to obtain a special permit to allow them to harvest crabs by crab pot or peeler pot from 4 a.m. to noon, June-August, and 5 a.m.-1 p.m. in September. Currently, the lawful daily time period is 6 a.m.-2 p.m., March 17-April 30, 5 a.m.-1 p.m. May 1-Aug. 31, and 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 1-Nov. 30.

The commission decided that permitted crabbers would be allowed to work slightly different hours, not longer hours, in a day. Crabbers on the same boat must have the same work hours, Bull said, and these steps are a concession the commission made at the request of some in the industry.