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Marine Fisheries - 02 2020 News Releases

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives: February 2020
8-point rule

 

Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Feb. 25, 2019
Phone: 252-726-7021

MEDIA ADVISORY: Public hearing scheduled
on proposed shellfish leases in Onslow County

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will hold a public hearing on proposed shellfish leases in Onslow County at 6 p.m. March 26 at the Sneads Ferry Branch Public Library, 1330 N.C. Highway 210, Sneads Ferry.

James Hargrove has applied for a 1.92-acres shellfish bottom and water column lease in Mainland Areas.

Cedar Snag Oyster Company, LLC (Franz Hueber and David Ollivier, agents), have applied for a 2.25-acre shellfish bottom and water column lease in Seaside Areas.

Matthew Schwab has applied for a 3.3-acres shellfish bottom lease in the New River below the bridge.

A map of the proposed leases, with corresponding coordinates and lease numbers, can be found here

The public may comment on the proposed leases at the hearing or in writing. Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. March 25 and should be submitted to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Shellfish Leases, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.

The application file and biologist report for the proposed leases are available for inspection during office hours at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Headquarters Office at 3441 Arendell St. in Morehead City.

For more information, contact Michael Graven, with the division’s Habitat and Enhancement Section, at 252-808-8061 or Michael.Graven@ncdenr.gov

WHO: N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
WHAT: Public Hearing on Proposed Shellfish Leases in Onslow County
WHEN: March 26 at 6 p.m.
WHERE:
Sneads Ferry Branch Public Library
1330 N.C. Highway 210, Sneads Ferry


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Feb. 25, 2019
Phone: 252-726-7021

2020 recreational flounder season announced

MOREHEAD CITY — Division of Marine Fisheries Director Steve Murphey has announced that the 2020 recreational flounder season will be Aug. 16 through Sept. 30 for internal and ocean waters of the state.

The minimum size limit will remain at 15 inches total length, and the creel limit will remain at four fish per person per day during the open recreational season.

Since all species of flounder are managed under the same recreational regulations, the recreational season applies to all recreational flounder fishing.

The season will be implemented by proclamation, which will be posted later this week on the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Proclamation Webpage.

In August 2019 the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission adopted Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. The plan established the framework for a 62% reduction in southern flounder harvest (compared to 2017) in North Carolina for 2019 and a 72% reduction in harvest beginning in 2020 to be achieved through various management measures, including recreational and commercial season closures.

Consequently, the commercial and recreational southern flounder seasons closed Sept. 4. Because the peak of the 2019 recreational season had already occurred, the recreational season was closed for the remainder of the year. Preliminary estimates of recreational catch indicate this closure resulted in a recreational harvest reduction of 16% in 2019.

The commercial season reopened for a short period in the fall. Preliminary landings data indicate the commercial season closure resulted in a commercial harvest reduction of 44% in 2019. The reduction was higher for the commercial sector because the peak commercial harvest had not occurred prior to the Sept. 4 closure.

The Division of Marine Fisheries analyzed a variety of scenarios for the 2020 recreational flounder season, including weekend openings with weekday closures, two-week stand-alone seasons, and holiday openings. However, the division determined these types of seasons would likely not result in the needed recreational harvest reductions.

Reductions in harvest are required because a 2019 South Atlantic Southern Flounder Stock Assessment found that southern flounder is overfished and overfishing is occurring throughout the region (North Carolina through the eastern coast of Florida). Overfished means the population is too small. Overfishing means the removal rate is too high.

North Carolina law mandates that fishery management plans include measures to end overfishing within two years and rebuild the stock to achieve sustainable harvest within 10 years of adoption of a fishery management plan.

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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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