§ 28.2-203

Commission to prepare fishery management plans; standards

The Commission shall prepare and implement fishery management plans so as to preserve the Commonwealth’s exclusive right to manage the fisheries within its territorial jurisdiction.Any fishery management plan prepared, and any regulation promulgated to implement the plan, shall be consistent with the following standards for fishery conservation and management:

1. Conservation and management measures shall prevent overfishing while achieving the optimum yield from each fishery. The “optimum yield” of a fishery means the amount of fish or shellfish which will provide the greatest overall benefit to the Commonwealth, with particular reference to commercial fishing for food production and to recreational fishing;

2. Conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific, economic, biological and sociological information available;

3. To the extent practicable, an individual stock of fish shall be managed as a unit throughout the territorial waters of the Commonwealth, and interrelated stocks of fish shall be managed as a unit or in close coordination;

4. Conservation and management measures shall not discriminate among user groups. If it becomes necessary to allocate or assign fishing privileges among various user groups, such allocation shall be (i) fair and equitable to all fishermen; (ii) reasonably calculated to promote conservation; and (iii) carried out in such manner that no person acquires an excessive share of such privileges;

5. Conservation and management shall, where practicable, promote efficiency in the utilization of fishery resources, except that no such measure shall have economic allocation as its sole purpose;

6. Conservation and management measures shall take into account variations among, and contingencies in, fisheries, fishery resources, and catches;

7. Conservation and management measures shall, where practicable, minimize regulatory burdens which inhibit innovation, expansion, and normal business operations.


1984, c. 463, § 28.1-23.1; 1992, c. 836.


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