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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 02 2019 News Releases

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Feb. 19, 2019
Phone: 252-726-7021

MEDIA ADVISORY: Southern Flounder Fishery
Management Plan Advisory Committee to meet

MOREHEAD CITY — The Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee will meet at 6 p.m. March 6 at the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Washington regional office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.

The committee is assisting the Division of Marine Fisheries with development of Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan, which could result in management measures impacting both commercial and recreational fisheries.

A 2018 Southeast Regional Southern Flounder Stock Assessment found that southern flounder is overfished and overfishing is occurring throughout the region. Overfished means the population size is too small. Overfishing means the removal rate is too high.

The current draft of Amendment 2 includes possible management measures for North Carolina designed to end overfishing of southern flounder and to rebuild the stock within 10 years. However, Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael Regan has asked the division to delay action on measures to rebuild the stock in 10 years to allow North Carolina time to coordinate southern flounder management with the other Southeastern states. Without this coordination, management measures may not work.

At the upcoming March meeting, the advisory committee is scheduled to continue to develop, discuss and possibly vote on management measures in draft Amendment 2.

Recommendations from the committee will be brought to the Marine Fisheries Commission in May. The Marine Fisheries Commission will then vote on draft management measures to take out for public comment. Afterward, the draft measures would come back to the commission for possible adoption in August and be implemented by proclamation before the fall.

An agenda for the committee meeting can be found here. Draft Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan and other information given to the committee at its February meeting can be found here.

For more information, contact Mike Loeffler at Michael.Loeffler@ncdenr.gov or 252-264-3911 or Anne Markwith at Anne.Markwith@ncdenr.gov or 910-796-7292.

WHO: Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee
WHAT: Development of Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan
WHEN: March 6 at 6 p.m.
WHERE:
N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Washington regional office
943 Washington Square Mall, Washington

nr-19-2019


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Feb. 18, 2019
Phone: 252-726-7021

MEDIA ADVISORY: Commercial Fishing Resource
Funding committees to meet March 7

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee will meet jointly with the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Committee at 1 p.m. March 7 at the Department of Environmental Quality’s Washington Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.

The two committees are scheduled to conduct an initial review of applications received in response to a request for proposals for a public relations campaign and an economic impact study. This initial review is to determine if the applications meet the scope and intent of the request for proposals. Applicants will then be notified of any questions or suggested changes to their proposals.

A meeting agenda can be found here.

The Commercial Fishing Resource Fund receives money from an increase in commercial fishing license fees that took effect in 2015. The fund pays for observer coverage to fulfill the state’s obligations under incidental take permits for sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon under the federal Endangered Species Act. Any additional money left in the fund is to be used for projects to develop and support sustainable commercial fishing in the state.

Spending for these projects must be approved by the Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee, which is made up of six commercial fishing representatives, and the Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Committee, comprised of members of the commission holding the three commercial fishing seats.

WHO: N.C. Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee and the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Committee
WHAT: Meeting to conduct an initial review of applications received in response to a request for proposals
WHEN: March 7 at 1 p.m.
WHERE:
N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s
Washington regional office
943 Washington Square Mall, Washington

nr-18-2019


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Feb. 14, 2019
Phone: 252-726-7021

MEDIA ADVISORY: Public input sought on potential management measures for spot and Atlantic croaker

MOREHEAD CITY — The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries are seeking public input on potential management measures for spot and Atlantic croaker that could be considered in response to declining trends in harvest and abundance indicators.

The stock status for both spot and Atlantic croaker is unknown, but the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission uses what is called a traffic light analyses to monitor trends in harvest and abundance and guide management decisions. The traffic light analysis indicates management measures may be necessary.

Management measures that could be considered include trip limits (commercial), bag limits (recreational), size limits and seasons. If necessary, some or all, of these measures could be implemented depending on the objectives of constraining harvest and the impacts of these measures. The traffic light analyses do not specify a landings reduction target, so public input is needed on management measures that could be considered.

Spot and Atlantic croaker are managed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. To ensure compliance with interstate requirements, North Carolina also manages these species under the North Carolina Fishery Management Plan for Interjurisdictional Fisheries.
 
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will review input from the states involved with management of spot and Atlantic croaker (New Jersey to Florida) at its May 2019 meeting to determine if management measures are necessary, the appropriate management measures, and when those measures should be implemented.

The public may comment at one of the three public input meetings listed below and/or submit written comments. Written comments may be submitted online at http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eg3rrppajs3cx5jh/start or by mail to:

Spot and Atlantic Croaker Public Input on Potential Management Measures
Chris Batsavage
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
P.O. Box 769
Morehead City, N.C. 28557

Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. March 15. Public comment will not be accepted via telephone or email.

Public information documents for spot and Atlantic croaker can be found on the division’s website here.

For more information, contact Chris Batsavage at Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov or 252-808-8009 or Daniel Zapf at Daniel.Zapf@ncdenr.gov or 252-948-3875.

WHO: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
WHAT: Meetings to Collect Public Input on Potential Management Measures for Spot and Atlantic Croaker
WHEN/WHERE: Feb. 25 at 6 p.m.
Dare County Commissioners Office
954 Marshall Collins Drive, Room 168, Manteo
WHEN/WHERE:
Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’
Central District Office
5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City
WHEN/WHERE: Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.
N.C. Department of Environmental Quality
Southern Regional Office
127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington


nr-17-2019

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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