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VMRC adopts 2017-2018 oyster management plan

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission unanimously approved the 2017-18 oyster season management plan during a meeting on Aug. 22 at commission headquarters in Newport News.

Commercial watermen will be able to have a five-day work week, up from the present four days, VMRC spokesperson Laurie Naismith said Aug. 23. However, a reduced bushel limit from 24 to 16 bushels was set as part of the plan.

In addition, the commission approved the opening of additional rocks for harvest. Another part of the plan was for staggered opening of public grounds to ensure that multiple harvest areas are open concurrently throughout the established season. Hand tong and hang scrape are the most common methods of gathering oysters in the region, a chart showed, although there is some patent tong at Deep Rock, dredge at Tangier-Pocomoke and by hand on Seaside Eastern Shore, a chart indicated.

The commission also changed the time of day restrictions on leaving the dock with a hand scrape on board a vess...

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