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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 05 2015 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Date: May 13, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

N. C. Recreational Water Quality Program recognizes
National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

MOREHEAD CITY — May 18-24 is National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, and state recreational water quality officials are asking swimmers to take simple steps to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone.

The theme for this year is Make a Healthy Splash: Share the Fun, not the Germs, focusing attention on swimmer hygiene and the role it plays in the prevention of recreational water illness outbreaks.

While healthy people can get sick from recreational water illnesses, those with weakened immune systems are especially at risk.

To avoid the spread of germs, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Do not swim if you have diarrhea.
  • Shower before swimming.
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.
  • Place tight-fitting swim diapers on children and check diapers before entering the water.
  • Take children on frequent bathroom breaks.
  • Clean up after your pets.
  • Avoid feeding shore birds at or near swimming areas.

Stormwater runoff can also cause unsafe swimming conditions, as well, because it can contain pollutants such as waste from septic systems and sewer line breaks, pets and wildlife. People have an increased risk of becoming sick from swimming in coastal waters after a heavy rain, so state officials recommend avoiding swimming in these areas for up to 24 hours after the rain has stopped.

Also, summer weather can bring significant amounts of rainfall in a short period of time and cause temporary flooding.

“Children, in particular, see these flooded areas as an opportunity to take a swim,” said J.D. Potts, manager of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Recreational Water Quality Program. “People swimming in ponding stormwater put themselves at an increased risk of becoming ill.

“People should also avoid swimming in these areas while storm drains are actively discharging.”

For more information, contact Potts at 252-808-8154 or J.D.Potts@ncdenr.gov or visit the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program’s website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-water-quality or on Twitter.com @ncrecprgm .

nr-20-2015


Release: Immediate
Date: May 13, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Division of Marine Fisheries clarifies that regulations in
rescinded proclamations are still in effect

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries wants to clarify that it is not lifting the ban on gigging red drum or changing the gill net regulations in Spooners Creek.

The division is in the process of rescinding proclamations that are now written in permanent rule, meaning the proclamation is no longer needed, but the regulation remains in effect.

Several of these proclamations have been rescinded in the past couple of weeks and more will likely follow. This includes:

  • FF-40-2001 (Rescinded), regarding red drum commercial and recreational fishing operations, now found in Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03M .0501;
  • M-13-2002 (Rescinded), regarding gill nets and seines in Spooners Creek, now found in Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC03J .0402;
  • M-43-2014 (Rescinded), regarding the Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Gear Permit, now found in Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC03O .0501; and
  • FF-71-2014 (Rescinded), regarding harvest restrictions of American eel, now found in Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03M .0510.

The rescinded proclamations include a note under the General Information section that states that the proclamation is being rescinded in order to manage the fishery in accordance with a specific Marine Fisheries Commission rule.

The permanent rules can be found in the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission rulebook at http://tinyurl.com/NCMFC-rulebook-May-1-2015

nr-19-2015


Release: Immediate
Date: May 12, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

New gear requirement for shrimp trawls and skimmer trawls
goes into place June 1

MOREHEAD CITY — Shrimp fishermen will be required to use an additional bycatch reduction device in their trawl nets beginning June 1.

They will also have a wider range of certified bycatch reduction devices to choose from than in the past.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission approved the new requirements at its February business meeting as part of Amendment 1 to the N.C. Shrimp Fishery Management Plan.

A bycatch reduction device is a fishing gear modification designed to reduce the catch of finfish that do not meet the size limits or are too small to market.

Currently, North Carolina requires shrimp fishermen to use one, state-certified bycatch reduction device in shrimp trawls and skimmer trawls. Beginning June 1, shrimp fishermen will also be allowed to use any federally certified bycatch reduction device.

The new regulations will also require shrimp fishermen to use a second bycatch reduction device in shrimp trawls and skimmer trawls, in addition to a state or federally certified bycatch reduction device. Fishermen may use any of the following bycatch reduction devices as a second device:

  • Any state certified bycatch reduction device;
  • Any federally certified bycatch reduction device;
  • A T-90 or square mesh tailbag or other applications of square mesh panels, such as a skylight panel;
  • Reduced bar spacing in a turtle excluder device.

Fishermen who are already using a second Florida fish eye, a square mesh application or a turtle excluder device with reduced bar spacing of 3 inches or less are already compliant and will not need to make any further changes.

For more specifics on the new requirements, see Proclamation SH-2-2015 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

For more information, contact Kevin Brown, with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, at 252-808-8089 or Kevin.H.Brown@ncdenr.gov or Trish Murphey at 252-808-8091 or Trish.Murphey@ncdenr.gov

nr-18-15

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