Vol. 25 Iss. 23 - July 20, 2009

Chapter 260
Final Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The following regulation filed by the Marine Resources Commission is exempt from the Administrative Process Act in accordance with § 2.2-4006 A 12 of the Code of Virginia; however, the commission is required to publish the full text of final regulations.

Title of Regulation: 4VAC20-260. Pertaining to Designation of Seed Areas and Clean Cull Areas (amending 4VAC20-260-30).

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

Effective Date: July 1, 2009.

Agency Contact: Jane Warren, Agency Regulatory Coordinator, Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, VA 23607, telephone (757) 247-2248, FAX (757) 247-2002, or email


The amendment establishes that oysters raised in caged aquaculture by licensed aquaculture facilities on the seaside of Eastern Shore seed areas shall be exempt from the requirement to be at least three inches in shell length.

4VAC20-260-30. Minimum cull size.

In order to encourage a continued supply of marketable oysters, minimum size limits are hereby established. Undersized oysters or shells shall be returned immediately to their natural beds, rocks, or shoals where taken. When small oysters are adhering so closely to the shell of the marketable oyster as to render removal impossible without destroying the young oyster, then it shall not be necessary to remove it. Allowances for undersized oysters and shells incidentally retained during culling are found in 4VAC20-260-40.

1. Oysters taken from clean cull areas shall not have shells less than three inches in length.

2. In the James River seed areas, there shall be no size limit on oysters harvested for replanting as seed oysters and seed oysters shall not be marketed for direct consumption.

3. In the James River seed areas, the shells of oysters harvested for direct consumption shall not be less than three inches in length.

4. On the seaside of the Eastern Shore seed area, the shells of oysters marketed for direct consumption shall not be less than three inches in length. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to oysters raised in aquaculture cages by licensed aquaculture facilities.

5. In the Rappahannock River, the shells of oysters harvested for direct consumption, from the areas known as Russ' Rock and Carter's Rock, shall not be less than 2-1/2 inches in length.

VA.R. Doc. No. R09-2027; Filed June 25, 2009, 10:05 a.m.