Fri07252014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

Ellie Caruthers is a Colonial Beach Treasure

Ellie Caruthers is a Colonial Beach Treasure

Residents and visitors to Colonial Beach often walk the shores of the Potomac or prowl the town’s an...

Newman returns to the Black and Gold

Newman returns to the Black and Gold

Colonial Beach School Board members are very excited to welcome back former CB Elementary School Pri...

KG Her-icanes win third straight championship

KG Her-icanes win third straight championship

 
The KG Her-icanes Travel Softball team won its third straight tournament on July 19 at the Nat...

HT Pro Watercross Liberty Cup returns to Colonial Beach

HT Pro Watercross Liberty Cup returns to Colonial Beach

Watercraft racing is more than just an adrenalin rush for Loyd Alspaugh, it’s a blend of danger, fun...

Supervisors postpone remainder of School Board appropriations; call for August joint meeting

At a meeting the previous week on June 24, Supervisors had approved allocations of funding for the f...

Landfill vertical expansion explored

King George officials have been considering vertical expansion and gathering information about it si...

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King George

SETTING

Supervisors postpone remainder of School Board appropriations; call for August joint meeting

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

At a meeting the previous week on June 24, Supervisors had approved allocations of funding for the first quarter of 2014-15 for schools and all county departments, with the expectation that changes wo...

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Colonial Beach

SETTING

Colonial Beach - Boil your water

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Don't drink the water, until it is boiled

Public Works Director Rob Murphy said that E-Coli bacteria has been found in a sample of the water system. It is confined to a specific area however he was not...

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Westmoreland

SETTING

Westmoreland County’s Parker Farms Supplies Produce to East Coast

Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Westmoreland County’s Parker Farms Supplies Produce to East Coast

Parker Farms, headquartered near Oak Grove with 2,000 acres of produce growing along the Rappahannock River near Leedstown, is supplying almost every major food chain up and down the East Coast with f...

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Sports

SETTING

KG Her-icanes win third straight championship

Wednesday, 23 July 2014
KG Her-icanes win third straight championship

 
The KG Her-icanes Travel Softball team won its third straight tournament on July 19 at the Nationals Warm-Up tournament in Richmond.  The Her-icane ladies played well, winning their pool by...

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Area Deaths

SETTING

Marion Jeanette Yarus

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Marion Jeanette Humphrey Yarus, 93, of Dahlgren, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 14, 2014, at her home. Jeanette was born on May 17, 1921 in Prices Forks (Blacksburg), VA.

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Columnists

SETTING

Antiques Considered - July 23, 2014

Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Antiques Considered - July 23, 2014

A lady in the Northern Neck inherited this Victorian sofa from her brother, who was a prominent decorator and antiques dealer.  It was in what possibly was the original horsehair upholstery, and ...

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Marine Police target oyster poachers

Increased enforcement and toughened penalties aim to protect booming oyster stocks from unscrupulous thieves

Newport News — This year Virginia Marine Police will combat oyster theft by air, land and sea in an intensive effort to crush what has become an epidemic of poaching. The public oyster season is now open.


“We mean business. We will vigorously pursue anyone who violates the oyster regulations, and we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” said Virginia Marine Police Chief Rick Lauderman.

“Stealing oysters from the public oyster grounds, private leased grounds or from oyster sanctuaries, in particular, will not be tolerated. Oyster poaching in Virginia will stop.”

A number of Marine Police Officers have been dedicated to search for oyster violations as their top priorities. An airplane will prowl the skies, patrolling for suspicious activity on both public and privately leased oyster grounds. Other techniques and equipment will be used, as well.

And the Virginia Marine Resources Commission comes armed to this fight with a renewed commitment to revoking violators’ commercial fishing licenses and with a new tool: Revocation of all saltwater fishing privileges, as allowed by a new state law that went into effect on July 1. The Marine Police is the Commission’s law enforcement division.

In fact, the Commission recently adopted new sanction guidelines that call for the revocation of commercial fishing licenses for even a single egregious offense. This is a tougher standard from prior guidelines, which called for a license suspension hearing on a third court conviction of fishery regulations within a calendar year.

Just last week, on Sept. 24, the Commission voted unanimously to revoke the fishing licenses of five commercial oyster harvesters who had pleaded guilty in criminal court to repeatedly harvesting more than their daily allowable bushel limits of oysters. Two of those five watermen saw their licenses revoked for a year, followed by a year of probation, and three were revoked for two years, which is the maximum allowed under current state law.

“Those who violate our oyster laws will face arrest, as well as the revocation of both their licenses and their right to fish in tidal waters,” said VMRC Commissioner Jack Travelstead. “They could be banned from any type of commercial fishing activity, even packing fish someone else caught. They’ll need another line of work for awhile. We anticipate a good oyster season this year, and law-abiding watermen should not have to suffer because of thieves.”

“Oysters are ecologically and economically important, and the Commission is committed to preserving a resurgent oyster stock and to protecting a substantial investment in oyster replenishment,” Travelstead said.

A single adult oyster can purge up to 50 gallons of water a day, and help clean the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Oyster reefs provide important forage and refuge habitat for invertebrates, as well as juvenile crabs and finfish species.
Over the past decade, the oyster harvest in Virginia has increased ten-fold, from 23,000 bushels in 2001, to an estimated 250,000 bushels in 2012. In that time, the dockside value of the oyster harvest increased from $575,000 to more than $8.26 million. The harvest is projected to jump to 320,000 bushels this year, which would make it the largest oyster harvest in Virginia since 1987.

“Oyster stocks are on the rise. We have invested a lot of time, effort and money into making that happen,” said Travelstead. “More oysters in the water may tempt some unscrupulous watermen. If so, this is a warning. We will not allow these stocks to be plundered.”

The Marine Resources Commission spent $2 million on oyster replenishment this summer, thanks to a historic level of funding from Gov. Bob McDonnell and the General Assembly.

Roughly 1 million bushels of oyster shells were planted on public oyster beds, which was an estimated 1 billion individual empty oyster shells, enough to fill approximately 4,000 dump trucks.

Every $1 spent by the state to plant oyster shells yields $7 in economic benefits in the form of larger harvests and increased jobs for oyster shuckers and oyster packing houses, when the oyster larvae that attach to the shells grow to market size in three years.

 

John Bull
VMRC

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