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Marine Fisheries - 08 2015 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives - August 2015


Release: Immediate
Date: Aug. 28, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Fishermen asked to track storm

MOREHEAD CITY — With Tropical Storm Erika brewing in the Atlantic, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is asking fishermen to track its forecast.

In the event the storm is predicted to impact coastal North Carolina, fishermen should to be prepared to remove fishing gear from the water well ahead of the storm’s arrival. Crab pots and gill nets, especially, are prone to damage and displacement during storms.

Additionally, vessel owners should check their safety equipment to ensure all is in working order and be prepared to remove their boats from the water or take them to safe harbor. Fishermen should monitor a NOAA Weather radio for storm updates and channel 16 on their marine radios for the latest U.S. Coast Guard emergency broadcasts.

Information about other hurricane preparations, as well as a free mobile app, can be found on the state Division of Emergency Management’s website at www.ReadyNC.org.

nr-35-2015


Release: Immediate
Date: Aug. 28, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission accepts comments on
updates to Interjurisdictional, Kingfish plans

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is accepting comments on proposed information updates to the Kingfish and Interjurisdictional fishery management plans.

The proposed updates can be found on the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/fmps-under-development.

State law requires the division to prepare a fishery management plan for adoption by the Marine Fisheries Commission for all commercially and recreationally significant species or fisheries that comprise state marine and estuarine resources. The law also requires periodic review of these plans.

An information update is a procedural method for reviewing a fishery management plan that refreshes the plan document with the most current statistics, trends and research available, but does not propose any regulatory or other management changes. The division and commission are soliciting review of the information updates by the public to ensure the latest factual and background data have been included.

The Kingfish Plan covers three species: southern, northern and Gulf kingfishes. These species are also commonly known as sea mullet or whiting.

Through the Interjurisdictional Plan, the state adopts by reference fishery management plans approved by federal councils or the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Sept. 28.

Comments on the Information Update to the Kingfish Fishery Management Plan should be addressed to Beth Egbert, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 1965, Manteo, N.C. 27954, or sent by email to Beth.Egbert@ncdenr.gov.

Comments on the Information Update to the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Management Plan should be addressed to Michelle Duval, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557 or sent by email to Michelle.Duval@ncdenr.gov.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is scheduled to give final approval to the information updates at its November business meeting.

nr-34-2015


Release: Immediate
Date: Aug. 25, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Commission delays vote on Southern Flounder proposals

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission postponed action on proposals for Southern Flounder management that had been scheduled for last week’s meeting.

During last week’s meeting, the board received a letter from N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Donald van der Vaart. Van der Vaart’s letter referenced and enclosed a letter he received from multiple members of the N.C. General Assembly asking him to temporarily rescind the commission’s authority to adopt a supplement to the state’s Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. Van der Vaart stated in his letter that he shared some of the legislators’ concerns and reemphasized his sole focus of achieving responsible management of Southern Flounder while protecting the rights of all those who rely on the fishery. After reviewing both letters and noting the various concerns, Marine Fisheries Commission Chairman Sammy Corbett removed the issue from the agenda.

The commission was scheduled to select and approve management measures for Southern Flounder from six potential management proposals it had taken out for public comment. The six options range in impacts to different fisheries and gears. They can be found at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/southern-flounder-current-topic.

The letters can be found online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/southern-flounder-current-topic.

Once these concerns are addressed, the commission plans to hold a meeting in September to address the Southern Flounder issue. Details of the meeting date, time and location will be announced later.

In other business, the commission:

  • Voted to post draft information updates for the Interjurisdictional and Kingfish fishery management plans on the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ website for public review.
  • Approved a five-year fishery management plan schedule.

Prior to the meeting, van der Vaart administered the oath of office to new commission members Janet Rose and Keith Rhodes. Rose, of Moyock, fills a commercial fisherman seat and Rhodes, a Wilmington chef, fills an at-large seat. Photos of the swearing-in ceremony can be downloaded at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/08-2015-rhodes-rose.

nr-33-2015


Release: Immediate
Date: Aug. 20, 2015
Contact: NOAA Fisheries Service — Sustainable Fisheries
Phone: 727-824-5305

REMINDER:
Recreational Harvest of Hogfish in South Atlantic Waters
Will Close on August 24, 2015

Recreational harvest of hogfish in South Atlantic federal waters will close, at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on Aug. 24, 2015. Federal waters will reopen to recreational harvest at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on Jan. 1, 2016. The recreational annual catch limit for hogfish is 85,355 pounds whole weight. Reports indicate that landings have exceeded the 2015 recreational annual catch limit for hogfish.

During the closure:

  • Recreational harvest or possession of hogfish in federal waters is prohibited.

This closure is necessary to protect the snapper-grouper fishery.

FB15-061

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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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