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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

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Marine Fisheries - 07 2019 News Releases

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives: July 2019
8-point rule

 

Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: July 29, 2019
Phone: 252-726-7021

MEDIA ADVISORY: Standard Commercial Fishing License
Eligibility Board to meet

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Standard Commercial Fishing License Eligibility Board will meet by teleconference at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 24.

The public may listen to the meeting at two locations: the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Headquarters, 3441 Arendell St., Morehead City; and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Wilmington Regional Office, 127 N. Cardinal Drive, Wilmington.

The board will consider applications that have been deemed complete and were submitted by Sept. 3, 2019.

The Eligibility Board meets two to three times a year to consider license applications. For directions on applying for a commercial fishing license, go to the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Commercial Fishing License Applications and Instructions webpage and click on the Eligibility Pool Application link.

For more information, contact division License Eligibility Clerk Ann Bordeaux-Nixon at 910-796-7261.

WHO: Standard Commercial Fishing License Eligibility Board
WHAT: Teleconference Meeting to Consider License Applications
WHEN: Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m.
WHERE:
Listen at:
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Headquarters
3441 Arendell St., Morehead City
OR
N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Wilmington Regional Office
127 N. Cardinal Drive, Wilmington

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: July 22, 2018
Phone: 252-726-7021

Division of Marine Fisheries issues
annual stock overview for 2018

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is continuing efforts to make its annual stock overview both easier to navigate and more informative for the public.

In this year’s overview, the division no longer includes a one-page summary on each species, but alternatively links directly to the more thorough report for each species in the annual Fishery Management Plan Update.

“We are making this change to provide the public with a more in-depth review of both the management and stock status for each species,” said Lee Paramore, who leads the division’s Biological Review Team.

The Fishery Management Plan Updates include all the information that was given in the one-pagers in the past, but they also provide a more comprehensive view of long-term trends in catch, biological data and management.

Last year, the division began using the stock assessment determination terms of overfishing and overfished/depleted in lieu of the more subjective categories of viable, recovering, depleted, concern, and unknown. In 2017, the division altered the format of the report to clarify the role the state plays in management of each species by separating state-managed species from those cooperatively managed through a federal or interstate entity. In this year’s report, data for all recreational fishing activity monitored through the Marine Recreational Information Program has been updated based on the program’s new methodology.

Highlights of this year’s stock overview for state managed species include:

  • Striped Mullet: After near historic low landings in 2017 triggered a review of this stock, striped mullet landings rebounded, and no management triggers were met in 2018. The most recent stock assessment, completed in 2018, indicates that overfishing is not occurring on this stock.
  • Blue Crab: The Division of Marine Fisheries continues the development of Amendment 3 to the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan following results of the 2018 benchmark stock assessment that indicated the stock is overfished and overfishing is occurring. Amendment 3 is scheduled to be adopted in early 2020.
  • Striped Bass (Central Southern Management Area): Research has shown that striped bass in the Central Southern Management Area are not a self-sustaining population and that fishermen are mainly catching hatchery-raised fish; however, in 2018, agency data suggested there have been two recent naturally-spawned year classes. To provide additional protection for these non-hatchery fish and to increase natural spawning stock biomass, the Division of Marine Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Commission implemented a year-round commercial and recreational season closure in coastal and joint waters of the Central Southern Management Area.
  • Spotted Seatrout: A benchmark stock assessment for spotted seatrout is underway in 2019 coinciding with the scheduled fishery management plan review. The prior stock assessment from 2014, indicated that this stock is not overfished and is not experiencing overfishing.
  • Southern Flounder: The 2019 stock assessment of southern flounder in the south Atlantic indicated that the stock is overfished and overfishing is occurring. This assessment passed peer review and the model was accepted for use in management. Adoption of Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan is scheduled for August 2019. Development of Amendment 3 is scheduled to begin upon adoption of Amendment 2.

For more information, contact Lee Paramore at 252-473-5734.

nr-52-2019


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: July 8, 2019
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries encourages donation of
red snapper carcasses and catch reporting

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will collect red snapper carcasses from recreational fishermen during the upcoming red snapper season.

The division has set up four new freezer locations, in addition to the 12 carcass collection locations available throughout the year, where recreational fishermen can take their red snapper carcasses.

The additional locations are:

  • Bridge Tender Marina, Wrightsville Beach
  • Carolina Beach Municipal Docks
  • Capt. Stacy Fishing Center, Atlantic Beach
  • Carolina Princess head boat dock, Morehead City

For a map of other year-round carcass collection locations go here.

Anglers who donate a red snapper carcass will receive a citation (certificate) from the N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament.

Fishermen should leave the head and tail intact on the fish carcass. Instructions on how to deposit the carcasses are posted on each freezer and available online here. Anglers will be asked to give information related to how and when the fish was caught. Fishermen also will be asked for their names and addresses to receive their reward and citation.

Division biologists will measure the fish, determine the sex, if possible, and remove the otoliths (ear bones) to determine the age of the fish. The information collected will be provided to the National Marine Fisheries Service for use in future red snapper stock assessments.

Recreational anglers also may log information about their recreational trips and catches through the MyFishCount electronic reporting mobile app. The app is available for free download at the Google Play and App Store or through the MyFishCount website. Reports of the number of harvested and released fish will improve the accuracy of National Marine Fisheries Service’s catch estimates.

The 2019 recreational red snapper season will open for two weekends: July 12-14 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and July 19-20 (Friday, Saturday) with a one-fish per person per day bag limit and no size limit. Captain and crew on for-hire vessels may retain the recreational bag limit.

A commercial season opened today with a 75-pound gutted weight trip limit. It will close Dec. 31 or when the commercial quota is met (whichever comes first). Division biologists will obtain data from commercially-caught red snapper at the fish houses. Commercially-caught carcasses should not be left in the Carcass Collection Program freezers.

Fisherman who choose to practice catch-and-release or release over limit fish are encouraged to use either venting tools or descending devices to ensure the highest likelihood of survival of released red snapper and other snapper-grouper species. More information on type and proper use of descending devices can be found here.

For specific information on commercial and recreational harvest limits, go to Proclamation FF-23-2019. To read the National Marine Fisheries Service bulletin on the subject, go here.

For more information on this red snapper carcass collection program, go here, or contact Carole Willis, division sportfishing specialist, at 252-808-8081 or Carole.Y.Willis@ncdenr.gov.

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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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