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Laws on commercial oystering changed : State board

VIRGINIA - Starting in February, anyone who wants to raise commercial crops of oysters or clams in Virginia will need a license and will have to file monthly reports on their harvests.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to impose the $10 annual licenses, not to raise money but to help keep tabs on the c ommonwealth's growing aquaculture industry.

The rules only apply to commercial growers - not those harvesting bivalves for personal use.

"Virginia has one of the largest clam aquaculture industries in the world," Jack G. Travelstead, deputy commissioner, said after the meeting. Yet because the businesses are not licensed, he said, "the state knows very little about it, because we don't collect information."

Individual watermen will not need licenses, only those who hold the leases to oyster and clam beds, he said.

Source: Pilot Online

the Fish Site Editor

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