Purse net fishing prohibited. (SB219)

Introduced By

Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) with support from co-patrons Del. Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach), and Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Purse net fishing prohibited. Prohibits fishing for menhaden with purse nets (i) in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries within one mile of mean low water and (ii) within three miles of shoreline of Virginia Beach extending to the North Carolina border. Amends § 28.2-409, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/05/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16102053D
01/05/2016Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
01/11/2016Impact statement from DPB (SB219)
01/28/2016Passed by indefinitely in Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB151.


Editor’s Pick
Mike Avery writes:

Senate Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee,
Post Office Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218

Dear Committee Member, January 13th, 2016

I am writing about SB 219, two very important bills you will soon be considering. The
Virginia Saltwater Sportsman Association (VSSA) is a growing organization of
recreational fisherman in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our mission includes
representing the interests of Virginia’s recreational saltwater anglers, ensuring the
long-term sustainability of Virginia's fisheries, while protecting Virginia’s marine, boat,and tackle industry jobs.

Menhaden is the only saltwater fish in Virginia NOT regulated by the VMRC.
Menhaden is the only fish with all regulations in the Virginia State Code. Fisheries
Management should be left to scientists as opposed to politicians who generally know
little about the scientific basis of fisheries management. Menhaden are not suitable for human consumption. They are forage in the marine food chain and are pivotal for
many other species in the ecosystem.

Over fishing of menhaden has been a problem in the Chesapeake Bay and along the
entire East Coast. The Virginia Tourism industry suffers because of the unsightly
fishing techniques close to the shoreline. The industrial harvest of menhaden
produces a large runoff of scales and slime as well as a smelly froth that is not only
unsightly but unwelcome to tourist on the beach. Moreover, Virginia is the only east
coast state that allows the industrial purse seine fishing for menhaden within its rivers and bays. The Chesapeake Bay is the nursery for much of the entire east coast, and it is extremely important to all Virginians. Last year there was 349,873,884 pounds of menhaden taken from our waters.

On behalf of all the anglers in Virginia, VSSA respectfully requests that you become
personally involved to ensure the success of SB 219 that would prohibit purse seine
fishing for menhaden in certain Virginia waters. SB 219 will not push the industrial
menhaden harvest out of the bay, it will move them away from the shoreline.
If you have any questions or comments, the best way to contact us is through our
website or email, ifishva@gmail.com

Mike Avery, President Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing Association