Vol. 32 Iss. 7 - November 30, 2015

Chapter 335
Final Regulation

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: 4VAC20-335. Pertaining to On-Bottom Shellfish Aquaculture Activities (amending 4VAC20-335-20, 4VAC20-335-30; adding 4VAC20-335-40).

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

Effective Date: January 1, 2016.

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


The amendments (i) add the definition of "aquaculture structure," (i) provide marking requirements for the leaseholder of leased aquaculture grounds, and (iii) include the penalty for any violation of the chapter.

4VAC20-335-20. Definitions.

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

"Aquaculture structure" means devices, such as cages, trays, and nets, used to contain or protect shellfish.

"Commission" means the Marine Resources Commission.

"Shellfish" means native molluscan species or molluscan species imported in accordance with § 28.2-825 of the Code of Virginia.

4VAC20-335-30. Requirements and conditions.

A. The activity must be conducted on planting ground leased in accordance with Chapter 6 (§ 28.2-600 et seq.) of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia.

B. Leased planting ground must be properly marked in accordance with § 28.2-607 of the Code of Virginia and subsequent regulations (4VAC20-290-10 et seq.) 4VAC20-290.

C. In addition to the required marking of the boundary of the lease, the boundary of the area containing the structures Aquaculture structures shall be identified delineated with markers meeting the description for markers identified in 4VAC20-290-30 while structures are located on the bottom. The leaseholder shall also place a minimum of two placards, attached to boundary or corner markers, stating "aquaculture structures." Such placards shall be a minimum of 12 inches by 12 inches, constructed of a durable material, facing outward from the aquaculture structures, and shall be at least four feet above the mean high water line. The chief engineer may approve an alternate plan for marking aquaculture structures. In such a case the chief engineer shall direct or approve the appropriate markers.

D. Any structures placed on the bottom must be nontoxic and shall not be known to leach any materials which that would violate any water quality standards set by the Department of Environmental Quality.

E. Structures shall not extend higher than 12 inches above the bottom substrate.

F. No new structures shall be placed on existing stands of submerged aquatic vegetation.

G. No structures may cause more than a minimal adverse effect on navigation.

H. Shellfish must be harvested in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

I. The commission may direct removal of any structures which that fail to meet the requirements and conditions of this chapter.

4VAC20-335-40. Penalty.

As set forth in § 28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter committed by the same person within 12 months of a prior violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

VA.R. Doc. No. R16-4516; Filed October 30, 2015, 9:17 a.m.