This is one of a series of posts on particular water-related bills in the 2018 Virginia General Assembly. For an inventory of about water-related bills in the 2018 General Assembly, please visit the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s “Virginia Water Legislation” page, online at http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/virginia-water-legislation/. Each post includes a summary of the bill(s), their legislative status (in committee, passed, failed, etc.), and a list of hyperlinked headlines for news media items on the bill(s). Information on the bills’ provisions and status is taken from the Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS), online at http://leg1.state.va.us/lis.htm; the LIS summaries are edited in some cases for space or clarity. Each bill number is hyperlinked to the LIS entry for that bill.
Two House of Delegates bills were introduced setting the quota allowed for catch of Atlantic Menhaden in Virginia waters. Menhaden are the only fish species managed directly by the General Assembly, rather than directly by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. Information about Virginia’s regulation of the Atlantic Menhaden fishery is available online at http://mrc.virginia.gov/regulations/fr1270.shtm.
HB 1610 – Menhaden; total landings. This bill was reported out by of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources (ACNR) 11-10 on February 28, 2018, but was re-referred to that committee on 3/6/18 and was left (died) there. Sponsored by Del. Barry Knight (R-81st) and supported by Gov. Ralph Northam, the bill would have adjusted the annual total allowable landings for Atlantic Menhaden upward from 168,937.75 metric tons to 170,797.17 metric tons. It would also have provided that any portion of the coast-wide total allowable catch that is relinquished by a state that is a member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) shall be redistributed to Virginia and other states according to the Commission’s allocation guidelines. The bill would have provided that the current annual harvest cap of 87,216 metric tons for the purse seine fishery for Atlantic menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay be set at not less than 51,000 metric tons, a cap set by the AFSMC, and that Virginia Marine Resources Commissioner shall appeal appeal that ASMFC cap. It would also have removed a provision that applied the amount by which certain actual Chesapeake Bay harvests fall below the harvest cap as a credit to the following year.
HB 822, also sponsored by Del. Knight, failed in the House ACNR Committee on February 13, 2018. That bill would have adjusted the annual total allowable landings for menhaden downward from 168,937.75 metric tons to 168,213.16 metric tons.
News Media Item Related to This Legislation
Fish fight: Governor’s bill on menhaden catch limits advances, barely, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/28/18.