skip to main content | skip to footer
North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 07 2015 News Release Archives

Marine Fisheries

Web Content Display Web Content Display

Release: Immediate
Date: July 22, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Pamlico, Pungo Neuse and Bay rivers to close to all anchored gill nets

MOREHEAD CITY — Some rivers and creeks in the central coastal area will close to all anchored gill nets at 5 p.m. Thursday due to interactions with sea turtles.

The action closes Management Unit C under the state’s Sea Turtle Incidental Take Permit, which includes the Pamlico, Pungo Neuse and Bay Rivers and their tributaries. The closure impacts both large-mesh and small- mesh anchored gill nets, including those set under a Recreational Commercial Gear License.

The closure is to comply with a modification to the incidental take permit that consolidates the number of allowed sea turtle takes in Management Units A and C for a total of eight turtles.

Management Unit A, which includes all of Albemarle, Currituck, Croatan and Roanoke sounds and their tributaries, closed to large-mesh and small- mesh anchored gill nets June 12 after staff with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries observed interactions with five live and one dead sea turtles in anchored gill nets. There were two observed interactions with sea turtles in Management Unit C during the current Incidental Take Permit Year.

The total observed interactions with sea turtles in anchored gill nets for Management Units A and C is now at eight, and must close under the Sea Turtle Incidental Take Permit provisions.

“It is our hope that in future years this will provide more flexibility for managing these two areas,” said division Director Louis Daniel.

Waters in Management Unit C will not reopen to anchored 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 gill net restrictions in Management Unit C, see Proclamation M-12-2015 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. The permits are 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 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 Jacob Boyd, with the division’s Observer Program, at 252-808-8088 or via email at Jacob.Boyd@ncdenr.gov.

nr-28-2015


Release: Immediate
Date: July 21, 2015
Contact: Nikhil Mehta
Phone: 727-824-5305
Email: Nikhil.Mehta@noaa.gov

NOAA Fisheries Announces Re-opening of Commercial and Recreational Sectors for Snowy Grouper in the South Atlantic with New Regulations

Small Entity Compliance Guide

The final rule for Regulatory Amendment 20 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region published on July 21, 2015 (80 FR 43033). Regulations will be effective on August 20, 2015.

The final rule for Regulatory Amendment 20 will:

  • Increase the commercial and recreational annual catch limits for snowy grouper as a result of the latest population assessment. The annual catch limits will increase during 2015 to 2019, and remain at 2019 levels until a new population assessment takes place. The new values in pounds gutted weight and numbers of fish are:

Year

Commercial
Annual catch limit

Recreational
Annual catch limit

Recreational
Numbers of Fish

Current

82,900

4,400

523

2015

115,451

23,647

4,152

2016

125,760

25,758

4,483

2017

135,380

27,729

4,819

2018

144,315

29,558

4,983

2019

153,935

31,529

5,315

  • Increase the commercial trip limit for snowy grouper from 100 pounds gutted weight to 200 pounds gutted weight. The relatively small increase in the commercial trip limit could help maintain a longer fishing season when combined with the increase in the commercial annual catch limits.
     
  • Modify the recreational fishing season for snowy grouper from one fish per vessel per day year-round to one fish per vessel per day from May through August with no recreational retention during the rest of the year. The recreational annual catch limit was exceeded in 2012, 2013, and 2014, resulting in closures of the recreational sector on May 31 in 2013, on June 7 in 2014, and on July 6 in 2015. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council determined that reducing the current year-round recreational fishing season to May through August would help minimize the risk of exceeding the recreational annual catch limit and provide recreational fishers throughout the South Atlantic the opportunity to fish for snowy grouper when weather conditions are best.

Re-openings:

Commercial Sector
The commercial sector for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic Region will reopen on August 20, 2015, with an annual catch limit of 115,451 pounds gutted weight. The commercial sector will close when this new annual catch limit is met or projected to me met. As of July 15, 2015, 86,149 pounds gutted weight have been landed.

Recreational Sector
The recreational sector for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic Region will reopen on August 20, 2015, with an annual catch limit of 23,647 pounds gutted weight or 4,152 fish. The recreational sector will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on August 31, 2015. The recreational sector will re-open on May 1, 2016.

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

More Information
For more information on the final rule for Regulatory Amendment 20, please follow this link to the Frequently Asked Questions: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/2015/reg_am20/index.html.

FB15-055


Release: Immediate
Date: July 17, 2015
Contact: NOAA
Phone: 727-824-5305

NOAA Fisheries Reminds Commercial Fishermen that the
Recreational Bag Limit Applies for Some Species After a
Commercial Closure if the Recreational Season is Open

Atlantic Dolphin, Atlantic Wahoo, and Snapper-Grouper Species
(Except for Wreckfish)

After the catch limit is met and the commercial sector is closed for Atlantic dolphin, Atlantic wahoo, or snapper-grouper species (except for wreckfish):

  • The recreational bag limit for these species applies to commercial vessels.
  • If a commercial vessel is on a trip that lasts longer than one day, each person onboard the commercial vessel is limited to only one day's bag limit.
  • Sale and purchase of these species is prohibited.
  • The commercial closure applies in both state and federal waters for vessels with a federal commercial permit.
  • The recreational bag limit for dolphin is 10 per person per day, not to exceed 60 per vessel, whichever is less, except on board a headboat, where the bag limit is 10 per paying passenger.
  • The recreational bag limit for wahoo is 2 fish per person per day.
  • Recreational bag limits for snapper-grouper species can be found at 50 CFR § 622.187.

These measures apply from:

  • Maine through the east coast of Florida for dolphin and wahoo.
  • North Carolina/Virginia border through the east coast of Florida for snapper-grouper species (except black sea bass and scup).
  • Cape Hatteras, North Carolina through the east coast of Florida for black sea bass and scup.

Atlantic King and Spanish Mackerel

After the catch limit is met and the commercial sector is closed for Atlantic king or Spanish mackerel:

  • There is no recreational bag or possession limit that applies to commercial vessels, and commercial fishermen may NOT fish under the recreational bag limit of king mackerel and Spanish mackerel.
  • A person aboard a vessel that has both a valid charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic coastal migratory pelagic fish and a valid commercial vessel permit for king or Spanish mackerel, may continue to fish under a bag limit, provided the vessel is operating as a charter vessel or headboat.

These measures apply from:

  • New York through the east coast of Florida.

FB15-054

Pages: 1  2  3  

38337 FEEDBACK

Your input is valuable to us. Please send us your feedback.

What type of feedback would you like to send?*

Ask a Question Report a Problem Have a Concern Make a Comment

(If you would like us to respond please include your phone or e-mail.)

Your Question has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Problem has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Concern has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Comment has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

*If you are a DENR employee with an I.T. issue, please submit a DOTS ticket.