Trip to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission

Since I have become increasingly interested in the relationship between regulators and watermen during the course of my project, I attended a meeting of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), the governing body responsible for enacting the fishing regulations that affect the Guinea community (at least the ones that are not federally mandated).  The meeting provided some insight into the process.  I was able to witness a commercial waterman who lives in Guinea speak during the public comments portion of the meeting, as well as experience deliberation on time limits for commercial blue crab fishing, a regulation very pertinent to my topic.  As far as the scientific aspects of fisheries issues are concerned, a VIMS scientist gave his annual report on submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in the Chesapeake Bay.  I found his discussion of the VMRC’s efforts to work with haul seiners who work near an SAV sanctuary in the Bay to come up with an agreement to both preserve the plants and the watermen’s ability to fish in that area very enlightening.