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Marine Fisheries - 04 2017 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives: April 2017
8-point rule

 

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

Division of Marine Fisheries has new, wallet-size
Estuarine Gill Net Permits

MOREHEAD CITY — Gill net fishermen are no longer obliged to keep up with a folded sheet of paper to show proof that they obtained an Estuarine Gill Net Permit.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ License Program is now issuing wallet-sized Estuarine Gill Net Permits on heavier, laminate-back, clean release cards for the 2017-2018 license season.

These permits are the same size as the Standard Commercial Fishing License, making them easier for fishermen to keep with them while fishing than the permits printed on 8.5-by-11-inch standard printer paper that were issued in prior years. They also should be more water resistant.

The Division of Marine Fisheries requires fishermen to obtain an Estuarine Gill Net Permit to use any anchored small or large mesh gill net in internal coastal waters. The permit is a requirement of federal incidental take permits for sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon.

A condition of the incidental take permits is to maintain certain levels of observer coverage statewide. The Estuarine Gill Net Permit requires fishermen to provide an active phone number where they can be reached to schedule observer trips so that the division can maintain the observer coverage needed to stay in compliance with the incidental take permits. If the required coverage is not maintained, large and small mesh anchored gill nets could be prohibited in all internal coastal waters.

The permit is free, and fishermen can obtain or renew their annual permit when they renew their license at division offices or via mail. Customers who renewed their permit for the 2017-2018 license season before the clean release cards were implemented will receive a new clean release card in the mail soon.

Download a photo of a sample Estuarine Gill Net Permit here.

nr-22-2017


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: April 26, 2017
Phone: 252-726-7021

New marine fisheries rules take effect May 1

MOREHEAD CITY — Several marine fisheries rule changes will take effect May 1. They include six rule changes to implement amendments to the Oyster and Hard Clam fishery management plans and rule changes establishing a new permit for weekend trawling for live shrimp.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission approved the rules and the amendments to the Oyster and Hard Clam fishery management plans at its February meeting.

Rule changes to implement the Oyster Fishery Management Plan Amendment 4 and Hard Clam Fishery Management Plan Amendment 2 modify:

  • 15A NCAC 03K .0201 to reduce the daily commercial possession limit for oysters from 50 bushels to 20
  • bushels to align it with current management.
  • 15A NCAC 03K .0202 to reduce the culling tolerance for oysters from 10 percent to five percent.
  • 15A NCAC 03K .0302 to remove the clam mechanical harvest area on public bottom in Pamlico
  • Sound that is no longer opened to harvest.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0114 to add convictions of theft on shellfish leases and franchises to the types of
  • violations that could result in license suspension and revocation.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0201 to clarify how production and marketing rates are calculated for shellfish bottom
  • leases, franchises and water column leases, including calculations for an extension period; expand the
  • maximum potential initial lease area from five acres to 10 acres in all waters.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0208 to specify criteria that allow a single extension period for shellfish leases of no more
  • than two years per contract period in case of a natural event that would prevent the lease holder from making production and marketing requirements.

Other rule changes amend:

  • 15A NCAC 03J .0104, 15A NCAC 03L .0102, 15A NCAC 03O .0501 and 15A NCAC 03O .0503, to
  • establish a Permit for Weekend Trawling for Live Shrimp. Commercial fishermen who wish to participate in this fishery on the weekends may contact Michelle Hensley at 252-808-8076 to receive a permit application package. Permit conditions include headrope length, live tank and aeration requirements.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0503 to relocate a 2003 requirement for a permit for dealers transacting in spiny dogfish from
  • proclamation into rule.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0114 to increase penalties for gear larceny.
  • 15A NCAC 03R .0103 to correct a primary nursery area boundary coordinate for Wade Creek in Carteret County.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0501 to clarify license requirements for leaseholder designees.
  • 15A NCAC 03M .0522 to re-establish a rule delegating proclamation authority to the fisheries director to specify time, area, means and methods, season, size, and quantity of spotted seatrout harvested in North Carolina, allowing for continued management under the North Carolina Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan due to an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission plan to remove spotted seatrout from its managed species.
  • 15A NCAC 03H .0103 and 15A NCAC 03K .0110 to modify the fisheries director’s proclamation authority for the protection of public health.
  • 15A NCAC 03P .0101 to align the method of commencement of proceedings to suspend or revoke a fishing license, permit, or certificate with other similar administrative proceedings by the division and commission.

For more information on the rule changes, contact Catherine Blum at 252-808-8014.

Text of the rule changes will be posted here on May 1 in a rulebook supplement dated May 1, 2017.

nr-21-2017


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: April 21, 2017
Phone: 252-726-7021

Commercial Fishing Resource Funding committees
to meet April 26

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee will meet jointly with the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee at 10:30 a.m. April 26 at the Department of Environmental Quality’s Washington Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.

The two committees are scheduled to approve a memorandum of understanding between them regarding the Commercial Fishing Resource Fund.

The committees are responsible for deciding how to spend money from the fund, which receives partial proceeds from commercial fishing license sales.

In 2014, the N.C. General Assembly approved a fee increase for six commercial fishing licenses. The fee increase began in fiscal year 2015-2016. Under the law, proceeds from the increased fees goes into a Commercial Fishing Resource Fund.

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. Without the incidental take permits, the state’s gill net fisheries must close.

Any additional money from the fund is to be used for projects to develop and support sustainable commercial fishing in the state. Spending from the fund must be approved by the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee, which is made up of six commercial fishing representatives.

The Marine Fisheries Commission has delegated its funding decisions to a Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Committee comprised of members of the commission holding the three commercial fishing seats.

The meeting is open to the public. An agenda can be found here.

For more information, contact Beth Govoni, Grants program manager with the Division of Marine Fisheries, at 252-808-8015 or Beth.Govoni@ncdenr.gov.

nr-20-2017

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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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