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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 06 2015 News Release Archives

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Date: June 3, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Waters in Pamlico Sound and northern Core Sound
close to anchored, large-mesh gill nets

MOREHEAD CITY — Waters in Pamlico Sound and the northern portion of Core Sound will close to anchored, large-mesh gill nets at 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 8 due to interactions with sea turtles.

The closure impacts Management Unit B under the state’s Sea Turtle Incidental Take Permit, which includes all of Pamlico Sound and the northern portion of Core Sound down to a line from Club House on Core Banks to a point on the shore at Davis near Marker 1.

Staff with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries have observed interactions with 19 live and 11 dead green sea turtles in anchored, large-mesh gill nets. This comes near the maximum allowed takes of green sea turtles, based on observer coverage, in Management Unit B for the Incidental Take Permit year, which runs from Sept.1 through Aug. 31.

The Incidental Take Permit requires the division to close a Management Unit if allowable takes are approached based on observer coverage.

Waters in Management Unit B will not reopen to anchored large-mesh gill nets until at least Sept. 1. The reopening could occur later, depending on the abundance of sea turtles in the area at that time.

For more specifics on open and closed area, see Proclamation M-10-2015 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

North Carolina’s estuarine gill net fishery is managed under incidental take permits for sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon, issued to the state by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The permits authorize limited takes of these species, listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, as part of conservation plans that divide the state’s internal coastal waters into six management units. The permits require observer coverage, so that the management units are closely monitored for interactions with sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon. An annual number of allowed interactions with each species is assigned to each gear type in each management unit. If the number of interactions is approached, the management unit must close for the remainder of the season or year.

For more information, contact Chris Batsavage, the division’s Protected Resources Section chief, at 252-808-8009 or 252-241-2995, or via email at Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov.

nr-24-2015


Release: Immediate
Date: June 5, 2015
Contact: Sustainable Fisheries Division
Phone: 727-824-5305

Recreational Harvest of Blueline Tilefish in South Atlantic Waters
Will Close on June 10, 2015

Recreational harvest of blueline tilefish in South Atlantic waters will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) June 10, 2015. On March 30, 2015, NOAA Fisheries published a final rule which reduced the blueline tilefish annual catch limit from 111,893 pounds whole weight to 17,791 pounds whole weight. Landing reports indicate the revised annual catch limit has been exceeded.

On March 30, 2015, NOAA Fisheries also specified that the recreational season is from May through August each year unless closed through an in-season closure. Therefore, in 2016, the recreational sector for blueline tilefish is closed from January 1 through April 30 and September 1 through December 31. The recreational harvest will reopen at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on May 1, 2016.

During the closure:

  • The closure applies in both state and federal waters for a person onboard a vessel with a federal snapper-grouper permit.
  • The commercial sector for blueline tilefish closed to harvest on April 7, 2015.
  • Sale and purchase of blueline tilefish in or from federal waters is prohibited.
  • This closure is necessary to protect the snapper-grouper resource.
  • Red snapper will remain closed in South Atlantic Federal waters in 2015. There will not be commercial or recreational seasons in 2015 because the total number of red snapper removed from the population in 2014 exceeded the allowable level.

This announcement is forwarded as a courtesy of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

Relevant copies are also posted on the Council's website at www.safmc.net.


FB15-040


Release: Immediate
Date: June 5, 2015
Contact: Sustainable Fisheries Division
Phone: 727-824-5305

NOAA Announces Red Snapper Will Remain Closed in
South Atlantic Federal Waters in 2015

Red snapper will remain closed in South Atlantic Federal waters in 2015. There will not be commercial or recreational seasons in 2015 because the total number of red snapper removed from the population in 2014 exceeded the allowable level.

In 2013, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council developed, and NOAA Fisheries implemented, a standardized process that specifies harvest may only occur in a given year if total removals (landings plus dead discards) in the previous year were less than the number allowed for population rebuilding. The total removals allowable for 2014 were 106,000 fish. After evaluating landings and discard information for 2014, NOAA Fisheries has determined the estimates of total removals were 205,859 fish; therefore, the fishery remains closed in 2015.

The process will be repeated in 2016 to determine if there will be a season in South Atlantic Federal waters in 2016. The next assessment of the South Atlantic red snapper population is scheduled to be completed in 2016 and allowable harvest may change as a result of the population assessment.

For additional sources of information, including Frequently Asked Questions, details of the standardized process, and the report of 2014 estimates of red snapper total removals in the South Atlantic Region, please go here:

http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/2015/red_snapper/index.html

This announcement is forwarded as a courtesy of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

Relevant copies are also posted on the Council's website at www.safmc.net.

FB15-039

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