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Subject: VMRC Public Hearing on New Regulations for the Commercial Haul Seine Fishery

To: CCA Members and Concerned Recreational Fishermen.

The haul seine regulation change process is nearing completion. Members of the CCA Virginia fisheries advisory committee have been working diligently on this issue for a number of years and it is time for me to ask for your help. Letters are making it to VMRC on a daily basis in support of CCA Virginia's position and I thank you for that support. If you haven't sent your letter in it is not to late to fax something to the VRMC office at 757-247-8101 or email a note to [email protected] New regulations have been written that are "close" to what our organization is seeking. VIMS and VMRC Staff are prepared to support the concept of broad area closures in order to protect the valuable grass beds from prop scaring.

All of the efforts to date are impressive. I am proud of the progress that has been made by our hard working volunteers. However, these initiatives will be wasted if there are not enough conservation minded individuals at the VMRC Public hearing on Tuesday, June 24th, sometime shortly after 12:00 noon. You can be certain the haul seine fishermen will be at the meeting in force. You also can be certain they will insist that the regulations proposed by VMRC Staff will put them out of business. Many people involved with the process feel the only way the Commission will support any conservation measures or regulations that will effectively put a stop to illegal pair trawling is if there are a LARGE number of people at the meeting who speak in support of doing so.

Thus, I am making a personal request as the chairman of the largest organization of saltwater fishermen in the state of Virginia. I implore you to make every attempt to attend the public hearing and speak in support of at least the following two measures. First, protect the natural resources by moving this gear off the areas that have had severe prop scarring in 10 out of the past 13 years. Second, put an end to the activity of pair trawling. There are several issues and specific measures that can be found on our web page by pointing your browser to www.CCAVirginia.org

The public hearing will be in the VMRC forth floor conference room, which is located at 2600 Washington, Ave. Newport News, VA. To get there, take I-664 to downtown Newport News. From either direction, exit the interstate at the 26th street. The VMRC office is on the right hand corner at the second traffic light. There is ample parking in the lot across Washington Ave.

The important thing is that as many people as possible show up at the Commission meeting and speak their mind on this issue. We need YOUR support at the meeting if there is going to be any chance of getting effective regulations put in place by the Commission.

Sincerely,

John Bello
State Chairman
Coastal Conservation Association, Virginia.

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The proceeding was provided as a public service by the Coastal Conservation Association of Virginia (CCA-VA). Feel free it to forward it to your associates. If you have any comments concerning this issue, or would like to have your name added/removed from the distribution list send an email to [email protected]. The CCA-VA is a 501 C-3 charitable organization whose goal is CPR for fish; Conserve, Protect and Restore marine resources for the benefit of all Virginians.
 
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