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Marine Fisheries - 03 2016 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives — March 2016


Release: Immediate
Date: Mar. 28, 2016
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

State seeking public comment on management options
required to improve blue crab stock

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting public comment on management options for the blue crab fishery. The management measures are required under Amendment 2 to the N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan to improve the condition of the state’s blue crab stock.

Division staff will discuss the possible management measures and receive public comment at the following upcoming advisory committee meetings:

  • Southern Regional Advisory Committee
    April 6, 5:30 p.m.
    N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office
    5285 U.S. 70 West, Morehead City
     
  • Northern Regional Advisory Committee
    April 7, 5:30 p.m.
    N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Washington Regional Office
    943 Washington Square Mall, Washington
     
  • Shellfish/Crustacean Advisory Committee
    April 14. 6 p.m.
    N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office
    5285 U.S.70 West, Morehead City

Additionally, comments can be directed by phone to division biologists Jason Rock at 252-948-3874 or Corrin Flora at 252-264-3911, or by email to Jason.Rock@ncdenr.gov or Corrin.Flora@ncdenr.gov.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is scheduled to consider management action at its May meeting. Possible management options include:

  • Increasing the minimum size limit for male and immature female crabs
  • Establishing a seasonal size limit on peeler crabs
  • Reducing the tolerance of sub-legal size blue crabs to a minimum of 5 percent and/or implementing gear modifications to reduce sublegal catch
  • Eliminating the harvest of v-apron immature hard crab females
  • Restricting the harvest of sponge crabs
  • Prohibiting all harvest of sponge crabs and/or requiring sponge crab excluders in pots in specific areas
  • Closing the crab spawning sanctuaries from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28 and possibly imposing further restriction
  • Expanding existing and/or designating new crab spawning sanctuaries
  • Closing the fishery by season and/or gear
  • Gear modifications in the crab trawl fishery

Management measures will be implemented by proclamation following the commission’s May meeting.

Management action is required under Amendment 2 to the N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan, adopted by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission in November 2013. Amendment 2 uses an adaptive management framework based on the condition of the Blue Crab Traffic Light, which requires annual evaluation of three indicators to determine if any change in management is warranted. The indicators are adult abundance, the abundance of juvenile crabs in the stock (recruit abundance), and production (which evaluates the reproductive potential or resilience of the stock).

The annual evaluation has been completed, and management thresholds have been exceeded, requiring management action.

For more information, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/home under “Hot Topics.”

nr-29-2016


Release: Immediate
Date: Mar. 28, 2016
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Several fisheries advisory committee meetings scheduled for April

MOREHEAD CITY — Several advisory committees to the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet in April to discuss a variety of fisheries issues.

The Southern Regional Advisory Committee will meet April 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office, 5285 U.S. 70 West, Morehead City. Agenda items include discussion of management options for the blue crab fishery required under Amendment 2 to the N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan; reducing shellfish license oyster harvest limits statewide; and the recent federal announcement of the upcoming season closure for the recreational cobia fishery.

For more information on the Southern Advisory Committee meeting, contact Trish Murphey at 252-808-8091 or Trish.Murphey@ncdenr.gov.

The Northern Regional Advisory Committee will meet April 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Washington Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington. Agenda items include discussion of management options for the blue crab fishery required under Amendment 2 to the N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan; reducing shellfish license oyster harvest limits statewide; and the recent federal announcement of the upcoming season closure for the recreational cobia fishery.

For more information on the Northern Advisory Committee meeting, contact Katy West at 252-948-3884 or Katy.West@ncdenr.gov or Holly White at 252-264-3911 or Holly.White@ncdenr.gov

The Oyster and Hard Clam Fishery Management Plans Advisory Committee will meet April 11 at 6 p.m. at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Central District Office, 5285 U.S. 70 West, Morehead City. Agenda items include review of input from the public and regional advisory committees on the issue of reducing shellfish license oyster harvest limits statewide.

For more information on the Oyster and Hard Clam Fishery Management Plans Advisory Committee meeting, contact Tina Moore at 252-808-8082 or Tina.Moore@ncdenr.gov .

The Finfish Advisory Committee will meet April 13 at 5:30 p.m.at the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Washington Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington. Agenda items include discussion of the recent federal announcement of the upcoming season closure for the recreational cobia fishery.

For more information on the Finfish Advisory Committee meeting, contact Kathy Rawls at 252-808-8074 or Kathy.Rawls@ncdenr.gov or Lee Paramore at 252-473-5734 or Lee.Paramore@ncdenr.gov .

The Shellfish/Crustacean Advisory Committee will meet April 14 at 6 p.m. at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office, 5285 U.S.70 West, Morehead City. Agenda items include discussion of management options for the blue crab fishery required under Amendment 2 to the N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan.

For more information on the Shellfish/Crustacean Advisory Committee meeting, contact Trish Murphey at 252-808-8091 or Trish.Murphey@ncdenr.gov or Anne Deaton at 252-808-8063 or Anne.Deaton@ncdenr.gov .

Full meeting agendas are attached.

nr-28-2016


Release: Immediate
Date: Mar. 28, 2016
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-702

New fisheries rules go into effect April 1

MOREHEAD CITY — Three new rules pertaining to the striped mullet gill net fishery and mechanical oyster harvesting will go into effect April 1.

Two of the rule changes impacting gill nets will implement Amendment 1 to the N.C. Striped Mullet Fishery Management Plan, adopted by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission at its November meeting.

The first amends Marine Fisheries Commission rule 15A NCAC 03J .0103 to prohibit non-stationary gill nets from blocking more than two-thirds of a water body or interfering with navigation or other traditional uses of the area. This restriction already exists for anchored gill nets. The new rule is meant to address user conflicts between gill net fishermen and shoreline residents and recreational hook-and-line fishermen in smaller coastal creeks.

The second amends rule 15A NCAC 03R .0112 to remove the Newport River Trawl Net Prohibited Area as a small mesh gill net attendance area, making attendance requirements consistent with similar areas of the state.

A third change amends the existing rule for mechanical methods for oyster harvesting (15A NCAC 03R .0108) to clarify that it only applies to internal coastal waters, not the Atlantic Ocean.

The new rules will be included in a 2016 supplement to the 2015 North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission Rules that will be posted online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/rules-and-regulations by April 1.

For more information on the rule changes, contact Catherine Blum, with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, at 252-808-8014 or Catherine.Blum@ncdenr.gov.

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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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