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VMRC denies request to extend oyster harvesting season

Virginia Marine Resources Commission denied a request by watermen to extend oyster harvesting for an additional 90 days this season in the lower James River. However, according to VMRC spokesperson John Bull, the commission may agree to open up additional days in February.

Bull said approximately 100 watermen had signed a petition asking for the extension.

He said the commission agreed to open up waters to oyster harvesting Oct. 1, which he said was a month earlier than usual. However, Bull said it was made clear that this did not mean the harvesting season would be any longer.

Bull said approximately five watermen spoke at Tuesday’s meeting at VMRC headquarters in Newport News in favor of the extension. He said that the watermen "didn’t want the season to end."

However, Bull said an emergency regulation to extend the season has to be advertised and public hearings must be held. He said that is one of the reasons why the extension could not be granted i...

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