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Marine Fisheries - 09 2016 NR Archives

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News Release Archives — September 2016


Release: Immediate
Contact: Mary Vara
Date: Sept. 29, 2016
Phone: 727-824-5305

Commercial Harvest for Greater Amberjack in Federal
Waters of the South Atlantic Will Close on October 4, 2016

The commercial harvest for greater amberjack in South Atlantic waters will close, at 12:01 a.m. (local time) October 4, 2016, and will reopen at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on March 1, 2017. The 2016-2017 commercial quota for greater amberjack is 769,388 pounds gutted weight. Commercial landings are approaching the commercial catch limit and should close to prevent the catch limit from being exceeded.
 
The operator of a vessel that has been issued a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper and is landing greater amberjack for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such greater amberjack prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 4, 2016.
 
During the commercial closure:

  • Sale or purchase of greater amberjack is prohibited.
  • The closure applies in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a federal commercial permit for South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper.
  • Harvest or possession of greater amberjack is limited to the recreational bag and possession limits when the recreational sector is open.
  • The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of greater amberjack that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 4, 2016, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

This closure is necessary to protect the greater amberjack resources by preventing the commercial annual catch limit from being exceeded.


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.


FB16-066


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Sept. 29, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Commission seeks advisers for blue crab committee

MOREHEAD CITY - The state Marine Fisheries Commission is looking for commercial and recreational fishermen and scientists to serve on the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee.

The committee will assist the Division of Marine Fisheries in amending the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan. The commission uses fishery management plans as guides for implementing regulations and other management measures.
 
Individuals interested in serving as an adviser should be willing to attend meetings at least once a month and participate in the committee process. Advisers will be reimbursed for travel and other expenses incurred in relation to their official duties.

For an application, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-advisory-committees, stop by any Division of Marine Fisheries’ office, or call 252-808-8022 or 800-682-2632.

Applications should be submitted by 5 p.m. Nov. 15 to C.J. Alley, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.

nr-71-2016


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

Recreational cobia season closes Friday

MOREHEAD CITY —The state division of marine fisheries is reminding anglers that the recreational cobia season closes in state waters this Friday, Sept. 30.

Once the season closes, anglers must immediately release any cobia they catch, but for the rest of this week the regulations remain as adopted by the Marine Fisheries Commission in May:

  • A 37-inch fork length (measured from the tip of the snout to the fork in the tail) minimum size limit for all recreational fisheries.
  • Anglers fishing from private boats may only fish on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays under daily possession limit of two fish per vessel or one fish per person if only one person is on board.
  • Those fishing from the shore or shore-based structures (pier or surf) may fish seven days a week with a daily possession limit of one fish per person.
  • Those fishing on a for-hire boat (charter or guide) may fish seven days a week with a daily possession limit of four fish per vessel or one fish per person if fewer than four people are on board.
  • Those practicing catch-and-release may fish seven days a week.

By default, this means that Wednesday will be the last day of cobia season for those fishing on a private boat.

Cobia season in federal waters has been closed since June 20 because recreational fishermen exceeded the annual catch limit in 2015. Under the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's accountability measures, when the annual catch limit is exceeded in one year, the length of the following year’s season must be reduced to ensure that the recreational harvest does not exceed that year’s annual catch limit.

The federal government encouraged states to remain consistent with these measures and close state waters for recreational cobia season on June 20, as well. The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission sought to avoid shutting the fishery down in the summer and, instead, adopted a Sept. 30 closure and stricter regulations.

Recreational cobia season will reopen in state and federal waters on Jan. 1, 2017.

For more information, contact Michelle Duval with the Division of Marine Fisheries at 252-808-8011 or at Michelle.Duval@ncdenr.gov, or see Proclamation FF-28-2016 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

nr-70-2016


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Sept. 22, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

State accepting comments on proposed Pamlico County shellfish lease

MOREHEAD CITY — The state marine fisheries division is accepting public comment on a proposed bottom and water column lease for shellfish aquaculture in Pamlico County.

Steven Quidley, of New Bern, has filed an application to lease approximately 4.73 acres in Broad Creek, east northeast of Dowdy Point in Green Creek.

Comments may be made orally at a public hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 5 at the Pamlico County Courthouse; 202 Main Street, Bayboro.

Comments may also be sent in writing to the Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557 until 5 p.m. Oct. 4.

The application file and biologist report for this proposed lease are available for inspection weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Division of Marine Fisheries Headquarters Office, 3441 Arendell St., Morehead City.

For more information, contact Valerie Wunderly, shellfish mapping and lease coordinator, at 252-808-8061 or Valerie.Wunderly@ncdenr.gov.

nr-69-2016


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

Standard Commercial Fishing License Criteria
Committee meeting scheduled

MOREHEAD CITY — The Marine Fisheries Commission Standard Commercial Fishing License Criteria Committee will meet at 10 a.m. Sept. 30 at the Crystal Coast Civic Center, 3505 Arendell St., Morehead City.

The commission voted in February to convene a committee, made up of a sub-group of commission members, to discuss issues pertaining to the requirements for receiving a standard commercial fishing license in North Carolina.

For this meeting, the committee is scheduled to review this charge, receive public comment and possibly vote on recommendations to bring before the full commission.

A Standard Commercial Fishing License is the main license required for a fisherman to sell his catch. Depending on what changes the committee endorses, the recommendations may need legislative approval.

A full agenda is here.

For more information, contact Nancy Fish in the Marine Fisheries Commission Office at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov .

nr-68-2016


Release: Immediate
Contact: Kim Iverson
Date: Sept. 19, 2016
Email: Kim.Iverson@safmc.net

Council Approves Measures to Extend Atlantic Cobia Season;
End Overfishing for Hogfish

Discussion continues on options for allowing harvest of red snapper;
limited entry for the for-hire sector


If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, new regulations will be implemented in 2017 for Atlantic cobia in federal waters offshore from Georgia to New York. The measures, approved by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council during their meeting this week in Myrtle Beach, S.C., are designed to help extend the season for both recreational and commercial fishermen and help ensure consistent and stable fishing opportunities for the migratory stock. New regulations as proposed in Coastal Migratory Framework Amendment 4 would reduce the recreational bag limit from 2 fish to 1 fish per person per day, implement a vessel limit of 6 fish, and raise the recreational minimum size limit to 36" fork length. A commercial trip limit of 2 fish per person per day, with no more than 6 fish per vessel per day, whichever is more restrictive, would be established.

The recreational fishery for Atlantic cobia in federal waters closed on June 20, 2016. The closure occurred during the peak cobia season off the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia impacting both private anglers and charter captains targeting the popular species. The early closure for 2016 was required due to an overage of recreational annual catch limit of Atlantic cobia in 2015 and the accountability measure currently in place that requires a shortened season the subsequent year. Framework Amendment 4 would also modify the accountability measure.

"The Council considered numerous comments received during public hearings held in August, as well as comments received during a Q&A session held in May, public input during its June meeting, written comments, and comments from fishermen attending this week's meeting," said Council Chair Dr. Michelle Duval. "We heard from fishermen about the negative economic impacts of the Atlantic cobia closure, particularly off the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia. We've worked diligently, looking at various combinations of changes to bag limits, vessel limits and size limits, to help maximize fishing opportunities and to have new regulations in place in time for next year's season," said Dr. Duval. "A new Cobia sub-panel to the Council's Mackerel Cobia Advisory Panel will allow for additional input and expertise from fishermen on cobia management issues as we move forward." The Council is also working with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to develop a complementary plan to allow additional management flexibility. The majority of cobia landings occur in state waters off the northeast coast of North Carolina and Virginia. Both states implemented additional restrictions in harvest in state waters following the federal closure in June. The Atlantic cobia annual catch limit includes landings from both state and federal waters.

Hogfish
The Council also approved measures for hogfish in federal waters that would establish two separate management units, a Florida Keys/East Florida stock and a Georgia/North Carolina stock and implement new regulations through Snapper Grouper Amendment 37. Hogfish are primarily harvested off the coast of Florida and a popular target for both divers and hook-and-line fishermen. A recent stock assessment found the Florida Keys/East Florida stock overfished and undergoing overfishing. Measures proposed to end overfishing and rebuild the stock include substantial reductions in the annual catch limits and limits to harvest...

Read the complete news release

For additional details about actions taken by the Council, view the September Council Meeting Interactive Story Map and read the Meeting Report.

SAFMC 091916

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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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