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Marine Fisheries - 08 2016 NR Archives

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News Release Archives — August 2016


Release: Immediate
Contact: Sustainable Fisheries
Date: Aug. 26, 2016
Phone: 727-824-5305

Commercial Harvest of Blueline Tilefish in Federal Waters of
the South Atlantic Will Close on August 30, 2016

Commercial harvest of blueline tilefish in federal waters of the South Atlantic will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) August 30, 2016. Commercial harvest will reopen at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on January 1, 2017. The 2016 commercial catch limit is 87,521 pounds whole weight. Updated landings data indicate that commercial harvest of blueline tilefish will reach the annual catch limit by August 30, 2016. As a result, commercial harvest will close in federal waters of the South Atlantic.

The operator of a vessel that has been issued a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper and who is landing blueline tilefish for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such blueline tilefish prior to 12:01 a.m., local time,
August 30, 2016.

During the closure:

  • Sale or purchase of blueline tilefish in or from federal waters in the South Atlantic is prohibited.
  • Harvest or possession of blueline tilefish in or from federal waters in the South Atlantic is limited to the recreational bag and possession limits when the recreational sector is open.
  • These bag and possession limits apply in the South Atlantic on board a vessel for which a valid federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper grouper has been issued without regard to where such species were harvested, i.e., in state or federal waters.
  • This closure is necessary to protect the blueline tilefish fishery by limiting landings to the commercial annual catch limit.

NOAA Fisheries Southeast is pleased to announce the introduction of our Text Message Alert Program. The program will allow you to sign up to receive important fishery related alerts via text message. Text alerts you may receive include immediate fishery openings and closures, and any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly.

How to opt-in
Sign up for related alerts for one or more of the following groups. Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.
Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries: Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries: Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries: Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries: Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
Caribbean Fisheries: Text CARIBFISH to 888777

This Fishery Bulletin is forwarded as a courtesy of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Questions or comments should be addressed to NOAA Fisheries using the contact information provided in the Bulletin.

FB16-059


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Aug. 25, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

Fisheries commission accelerates review of blue crab,
estuarine striped bass plans

MOREHEAD CITY — The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission has fast-tracked the review schedule for two state fishery management plans.

The commission voted last week to proceed this fiscal year with a review of the state’s Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan, which had been slated for fiscal year 2018-2019, to give the commission more management flexibility. The commission also voted to accelerate the review of the state’s Estuarine Striped Bass Plan by one year to 2017-2018 due to possible problems with reproduction in the Tar/Pamlico, Neuse and Cape Fear rivers.

State law requires the Division of Marine Fisheries to review state fishery management plans once every five years and revise them as needed. The commission sets this review schedule in August each year.

Amendment 2 to the North Carolina Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan, adopted in November 2013, uses an adaptive management framework that requires annual evaluation of three biological indicators of the state of the fishery. Management changes are required if the indicators meet pre-determined thresholds for three consecutive years. The evaluation this year found that a management threshold was exceeded, and the commission adopted stricter blue crab regulations in May. Commission Chairman Sammy Corbett said that several commission members would like more flexibility in management actions than is allowed under the current plan.

The Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan, is a joint plan between the Division of Marine Fisheries and the Wildlife Resources Commission. Both agencies recommended initiating the plan review earlier after recent DNA testing of fin clips taken from striped bass in the Cape Fear, Neuse and Tar/Pamlico rivers showed that a majority of the fish tested are of hatchery origin, which could indicate that very little natural reproduction is occurring.

However, the majority of samples tested so far came only from spawning grounds or the middle river in each system. More samples, including some from the lower portions of the rivers, have been sent to a South Carolina genetics lab for analysis. The commission approved $21,412 from its Conservation Fund to pay for this study. Results are expected to be available for the commission’s November meeting.

In addition, the commission slated the review of the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan to begin as soon as a valid stock assessment is available. The results of a coast-wide stock assessment are expected to be available in the second half of 2017.

In other business, the commission:

  • Elected Joe Shute as vice chairman of the commission.
  • Set the number of Standard Commercial Fishing Licenses available through an Eligibility Pool for the 2016-2017 fiscal year at 100.
  • Approved the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan 2016 Annual Report.
  • Asked the chairman to send a letter to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Weakfish Management Board asking it to address weakfish bycatch mortality in the shrimp trawl fishery in its next stock assessment.
  • Asked the division to evaluate the need for state management of false albacore.
  • Approved notice of text and associated fiscal analysis for a slate of proposed rules, including rules to implement amendments to the Oyster and Hard Clam fishery management plans, to take to public hearing in October.

nr-65-2016


Release: Immediate
Contact: NOAA Fisheries
Date: Aug. 23, 2016
Phone: 727-824-5305

Trip Limit Decreased to 500 Pounds per Trip for Commercial Harvest of
Vermilion Snapper in Federal Waters of the South Atlantic

The daily trip limit for the commercial harvest of vermilion snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic is reduced from 1,000 pounds gutted weight to 500 pounds gutted weight, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) Aug. 28, 2016. NOAA Fisheries has determined 75 percent of the July-Dec. quota of 431,460 pounds whole weight will be landed by Aug. 28, 2016.

Reduction of the commercial vermilion snapper trip limit when 75 percent of the July-Dec. quota is reached in federal waters of the South Atlantic complies with regulations implemented under the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. The 500-pound gutted weight trip limit applies to vessels with a South Atlantic Unlimited Snapper-Grouper Permit fishing for vermilion snapper in or from the federal waters in the South Atlantic region. The 500-pound gutted weight trip limit will remain in effect until the end of the current July - Dec. 2016 fishing season or until the quota is reached and vermilion snapper closes, whichever occurs first.

FB16-057

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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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