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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 03 2017 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives: March 2017
8-point rule


Release: Immediate
Contact: Sustainable Fisheries
Date: March 17, 2017
Phone: 727-824-5305

South Atlantic Vermilion Snapper Commercial
Trip Limit Reduced to 555 Pounds Whole Weight on March 22, 2017

The daily trip limit for the commercial harvest of vermilion snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic is reduced from 1,100 to 555 pounds whole weight or from 1,000 to 500 pounds gutted weight effective 12:01 a.m. on March 22, 2017.


  • When commercial landings of South Atlantic vermilion snapper reach or are projected to reach 75 percent of the quota, regulations are in place to reduce the daily trip limit.
  • The trip limit reduction is necessary to slow the rate of commercial harvest to avoid exceeding the quota.


  • The 555-pound whole weight or 500-pound gutted weight trip limit will remain in effect until the end of the current fishing season on June 30, 2017, or when 100 percent of the quota is reached or projected to be reached, whichever occurs first.
  • The second vermilion snapper season in the South Atlantic will open on July 1, 2017, with a 1,100-pound whole weight or 1,000-pound gutted weight trip limit.

This bulletin provides only a summary of the existing regulations. Full regulations can be found in the Federal Register or at:


Release: Immediate
Contact: Jamie Kritzer
Date: March 8, 2017
Phone: 919-707-8602; 919-218-5935

State searching for head of N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

RALEIGH — State environmental officials are conducting a nationwide search for a director for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.

For the past 11 months, Braxton Davis has served as the director for the state divisions of Marine Fisheries and Coastal Management. The divisions had their own directors before April when Davis — then director of the Division of Coastal Management — was named to also lead the Division of Marine Fisheries.

“Braxton has been an outstanding leader for our agency and has served admirably as the chief for these two divisions for almost a year,” said Michael Regan, secretary for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. “Braxton and I and our leadership team have discussed the workload of managing two divisions, and we all agree that oversight of both divisions is more than one person can handle in a long-term situation.”

Davis will continue serving as the director for both divisions until a new director for the Division of Marine Fisheries is named. At that time, Davis will resume his previous role as director of the Division of Coastal Management. Davis has led the Division of Coastal Management since September 2011.

The position was posted today on the state’s job posting website and will remain open until 5 p.m. March 22. People interested in applying for the state Division of Marine Fisheries’ position or learning more about it can visit:


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: March 2, 2017
Phone: 252-726-7021

Fishermen may receive Division of Marine Fisheries Survey

MOREHEAD CITY — North Carolina commercial fishermen in the central and southern coastal area may receive a survey conducted by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.

The survey is a follow up to previously conducted data collection in 2010, and seeks information on fishing habits, perceptions, income, expenditures and demographics. The information gathered in the survey will be used in fishery management plans as well as to develop economic impact models to help fisheries managers make informed decisions on various fisheries topics.

Fishermen will be asked questions such as what species they commonly target, their business structure, average trip and annual fishing expenses, demographic information such as education, age, and household income, as well as opinions on conflict with other fishermen and water users, fisheries regulation and community reliance on commercial fishing.  

Individual answers to questions will be kept confidential; however, aggregate results from participants will be included in a written report that will be made available to anyone interested in commercial fishing.

In late January, the division mailed 300 written surveys to commercial fishermen with mailing addresses between Core Sound and the South Carolina border who land fish from state waters. The division plans to mail another 300 in the next few weeks.

Non-respondents will receive a reminder phone call from division staff. Fishermen who receive such a call can verify that the person calling is a division employee by asking the caller to verify his or her personal identification number. This number is located on the bottom left corner of all North Carolina Standard Commercial Fishing Licenses. 

For the survey results to be truly representative of those who fish in North Carolina waters, it is very important that fishermen participate in the survey and answer as many questions as possible.

The survey is funded by the NOAA Fisheries Saltonstall-Kennedy Fund, which addresses the needs of fishing communities and aims to optimize economic benefits.

For more information, contact Adam Stemle, division socio-economics program manager, at 252-808-8107 or


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Feb. 28, 2017
Phone: 252-726-7021

Acres of coastal waters will close to shellfish harvest

MOREHEAD CITY — State fisheries authorities will close 2,450 acres of coastal waters to shellfish harvest tomorrow after they failed to meet required bacteriological standards.

Additionally, 50 acres in the Stump Sound area (B-9) of Pender County that closed to shellfish harvest last year will reopen after 2016 sampling showed improved water quality.

The shellfish classification changes are based on water quality samples tested for the past five years for required sanitary surveys and annual reviews of the state’s shellfish growing areas. Three of the past five years saw above average rainfall that causes stormwater runoff that, in turn, washes human and animal waste into the water.

The Division of Marine Fisheries will continue to monitor these areas and if conditions change, they could reopen in the future.

Areas that will close are:


Growing Area Name Area No. County Specific Closure Area Acres
Lockwoods Folly River Area A-3 Brunswick Lockwoods Folly River 120
Spring Creek 55
Wrightsville Beach Area B-7 New Hanover Oakwinds Marina 6
Canady’s/Mason’s marinas 1
Topsail Sound Area B-8 Pender Mallard Bay Area 17
Mill Creek Area C-1 Onslow Fullard Creek 37
Bayshore Marina 4
Queens Creek Area D-2 Onslow Queens Creek 99
White Oak River Area D-3 Carteret Boathouse/Dubling creeks


Deer Creek Area D-4 Carteret Bogue Sound Drive Canal 3
North River/Harker’s Island Area E-6/
Carteret National Park Service Boat Basin 1
Jane’s Creek 132
Sleepy Creek 25
Core Creek/South River Area F-2 Craven/Carteret South River 552
Cedar Creek 95
Godfrey Creek 28
Delamar Creek 10
Kellum Creek 9
Oriental/Broad Creek Area F-5 Pamlico Broad/Brown creeks


Bay River Area F-6 Pamlico Vandemere Area 133
Bear Creek 75
Ball Creek 34
Swanquarter Area G-3 Hyde Rose Bay 67
Swanquarter Bay 47
Wysocking Bay Area G-4 Hyde Outfall Canal/Sage Bay 130
Engelhard Area G-5 Hyde Far Creek/Waupopin Creek 370

For specific boundaries, see PA-PC-2017.

For more information, contact Shannon Jenkins, with the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Shellfish Sanitation and Recreational Water Quality Section, at 252-808-8148.


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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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