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Marine Fisheries - 07 2016 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives — July 2016


Release: Immediate
Date: July 26, 2016
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

State urges fishermen to learn the difference between
king mackerel and Spanish mackerel

MOREHEAD CITY — The king mackerel are biting, but so are the Spanish mackerel, and fishermen are getting them confused.

Confusing these two fish is problematic because the size limit on king mackerel is twice the length of the size limit for Spanish mackerel, and the bag limit for Spanish mackerel is five times higher than the bag limit for the kings.

Anglers who get them mixed up may be forced to pay up to $255 in fines and court costs. In fact, the North Carolina Marine Patrol recently handed out 12 tickets to recreational fishermen in the southern coastal area of the state for taking undersized king mackerel and possessing over the bag limit of king mackerel.

“In one day, we seized 58 fish,” said Officer Jon Hall, who patrolled the Cape Fear River at Southport Saturday.

From this past Friday to Sunday, Marine Patrol seized 81 king mackerel from recreational fishermen in the southern coastal area. The seized fish were donated to a charity.

“People are just misidentifying king mackerel as being Spanish mackerel,” Hall said.

To avoid getting a ticket, anglers need to learn to tell the difference between the two fish.

Adult Spanish mackerel and juvenile king mackerel can look a lot alike. Both are long, slender fish with a forked tail and bronze-colored spots on the body. But the Spanish mackerel features a black spot on the first dorsal fin that the king mackerel lacks.

Also, the king mackerel has a pronounced dip in the lateral line below the second dorsal fin. The line on the Spanish mackerel gently curves to the tail.

A color graphic showing the difference can be downloaded at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mackerel-diagram.

The size limit for king mackerel is 24 inches fork length (from the tip of the snout to the fork in the tail). Recreational fishermen are allowed to keep 3 fish per person, per day.

The size limit for Spanish mackerel is 12 inches fork length, and recreational fishermen are allowed to keep 15 fish per person, per day.

For more information, please visit the state marine fisheries agency’s website at http://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/marine-fisheries.

nr-56-2016


Release: Immediate
Date: July 25, 2016
Contact: Kim Iverson
Email: kim.iverson@safmc.net

Council Solicits Public Input on Proposed Measures for Atlantic Cobia and
Mutton Snapper Plus Options for Allocation of
Dolphin and Yellowtail Snapper

Public hearings and a scoping meeting scheduled for August; new story map summaries available

Federal fishery managers are currently soliciting public input on proposed measures that may affect fishermen fishing in federal waters ranging from 3 to 200 miles offshore along the Atlantic coast. A series of public hearings and scoping meetings are scheduled for August including in-person hearings from Virginia Beach to Key West and online webinars. Written comments are also being accepted until August 19, 2016.

Regulation changes are proposed for Atlantic cobia, a species commonly targeted by recreational fishermen as it migrates northward in the late spring and early summer. The Atlantic cobia stock is managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in cooperation with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council from Georgia to New York in federal waters. The recreational fishery for Atlantic cobia was closed in federal waters on June 20, 2016. Recreational landings in 2015 exceeded the annual catch limit and accountability measures currently in place were implemented for the following year, resulting in a shorter season. Management measures are being considered to lengthen the recreational season beginning in 2017 and help ensure consistent and stable fishing opportunities.

Changes are also proposed for mutton snapper regulations in South Atlantic federal waters following a recent stock assessment and concerns about fishing pressure during the spring spawning season. The harvest of mutton snapper occurs primarily off the coast of southern Florida. The fish gather in large numbers to spawn during the full moon each spring, making them highly susceptible to fishing efforts. Proposed management measures would reduce fishing pressure during the spawning season and provide further protection to the stock. The Council is coordinating with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to develop compatible regulations.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is also considering options for modifying allocations between commercial and recreational sectors for dolphin (mahi mahi) and yellowtail snapper. The options are being considered based on public input for the need to ensure the longest fishing season for both sectors.

Read the complete news release for additional information and a listing of dates and locations for the hearings and webinars. Public hearings begin August 1st.

Learn more about the proposed measures from the Public Hearing and Scoping Meeting page of the Council's website — now with new interactive story maps available for each amendment.


Release: Immediate
Date: July 21, 2016
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Meetings to explain new flounder permit and
reporting requirements postponed

MOREHEAD CITY — The state’s marine fisheries division has postponed two meetings scheduled for next week to explain new flounder permit and reporting requirements for pound net fishermen and fish dealers.

The Division of Marine Fisheries has put the meetings on hold to allow for more internal review of the permit.

The meetings had been scheduled for Tuesday in Morehead City and Wednesday in Manteo.

New dates for the meetings have not yet been set.

nr-55-2016

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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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