Vol. 38 Iss. 15 - March 14, 2022

Chapter 450

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The Marine Resources Commission is claiming an exemption from the Administrative Process Act in accordance with § 2.2-4006 A 11 of the Code of Virginia; however, the commission is required to publish the full text of final regulations.

Title of Regulation: 4VAC20-450. Pertaining to the Taking of Bluefish (amending 4VAC20-450-15, 4VAC20-450-30).

Statutory Authority: § 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: March 1, 2022.

Agency Contact: Alexa Galvan, Marine Resources Commission, 380 Fenwick Road, Fort Monroe, VA 23551, telephone (757) 247-2069, or email


The amendments change the way "annual quota" for bluefish is established, moving it from being defined in regulation to being pursuant to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council/Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan.

4VAC20-450-15. Definitions.

The following words or terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Annual quota" means Virginia's 11.8795% share of the annual coastwide commercial bluefish quota managed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

"Bluefish" means any fish of the species Pomatomus saltatrix.

"Captain" means the person licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry passengers for hire who operates the charter boat or head boat.

"Charter vessel" or "for-hire vessel" means a vessel operating with a captain who possesses either a Class A Fishing Guide License, Class B Fishing Guide License, or Fishing Guide Reciprocity Permit.

4VAC20-450-30. Commercial landings quota.

A. The commercial landings of bluefish shall be limited to the annual quota pursuant to the joint Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council/Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Bluefish Fishery Management Plan, except as specified in subsection B of this section.

B. If a quota transfer occurs between Virginia and another state participating in the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for bluefish, Virginia's annual quota for the current calendar year shall be limited to the annual quota amount as adjusted for transfers.

C. When it is projected that 95% of the commercial landings quota has been realized, a notice will be posted to close commercial harvest and landings from the bluefish fishery within five days of posting.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest or land bluefish for commercial purposes after the closure date set forth in the notice described in subsection C of this section.

VA.R. Doc. No. R22-7095; Filed February 22, 2022