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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 10 2016 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Oct. 5, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

Fishermen asked to track and prepare for storm

MOREHEAD CITY — The state marine fisheries agency is asking fishermen to keep a close eye on the progress of Hurricane Matthew as it heads up the Atlantic and begin preparing accordingly. Governor Pat McCrory has declared a State of Emergency for 66 counties including the coast and is urging North Carolinians to make preparations for the storm.

Fishermen should remove fishing gear from the water well before 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 plan to remove their boats from the water or take them to safe harbor as the storm approaches. 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.

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Ladd Bayliss
Date: Oct. 3, 2016
Phone: 252-473-1607
Email: laddb@nccoast.org

Commercial watermen needed to help remove lost fishing gear

Applications to assist with the Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project are due on Jan. 13, 2017
and watermen must be available from Jan. 18 - Feb. 7, 2017

MANTEO — The North Carolina Coastal Federation is currently accepting applications for “on-water” cleanup assistance related to its annual Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project. This project is open to commercial watermen in North Carolina.

Watermen are selected to participate in this program annually to help the federation and the North Carolina Marine Patrol remove lost fishing gear from coastal waters during the “no-potting” period, typically from Jan. 15 - Feb. 7. In January 2016, 11 crews, in partnership with Marine Patrol officers, removed 753 pots from select areas in District 1. Combined with a shoreline cleanup, this project removed over 7.5 tons of fishing gear and various marine debris from Northeastern North Carolina waters. The 2017 project will take place in select areas within all three Marine Patrol Districts, statewide.

To qualify, watermen must have a valid Standard Commercial Fishing License (SCFL) and guarantee availability for work during the period of Jan. 18 through Feb. 7, 2017. They must attend a mandatory training session to learn general project protocol and how to use project equipment (data collection tablets, and for a subset of watermen, side-scan sonars).

Compensation is $400 per boat, per day. Each boat is required to have two people onboard for safety reasons. In some locations, greater than one week of work could be possible for those accepted to this program. This project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program and is intended to improve habitat and water quality, as well as support coastal economies.

Applications are due Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, and are downloadable at www.nccoast.org/crab

Completed applications can be mailed to P.O. Box 276, Wanchese, NC 27981 or faxed to 252-473-2402. For more information, contact Ladd Bayliss at 252-473-1607 or laddb@nccoast.org


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Oct. 3, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

Fisheries Commission accepting comment on proposed rules

MOREHEAD CITY — The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission is accepting public comment on a number of proposed rule changes, including six to implement amendments to the Oyster and Hard Clam fishery management plans.

Oral comments may be submitted at a public hearing at 6 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Central District Office, 5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City.

Written comments may be submitted until 5 p.m. Dec. 2 to Catherine Blum, Rulemaking Coordinator, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557. Comments may also be sent by email to Catherine.Blum@ncdenr.gov or faxed to 252-726-0254.

Proposed rule changes to implement the Oyster Fishery Management Plan Amendment 4 and Hard Clam Fishery Management Plan Amendment 2 would amend:

  • 15A NCAC 03K .0201 to reduce the daily commercial possession limit for oysters from 50 bushels to 20
  • bushels to align it with current management.
  • 15A NCAC 03K .0202 to reduce the culling tolerance for oysters from 10 percent to five percent.
  • 15A NCAC 03K .0302 to remove the clam mechanical harvest area on public bottom in Pamlico
  • Sound that is no longer opened to harvest.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0114 to add convictions of theft on shellfish leases and franchises to the types of
  • violations that could result in license suspension and revocation.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0201 to clarify how production and marketing rates are calculated for shellfish bottom
  • leases, franchises and water column leases, including calculations for an extension period; expand the
  • maximum potential initial lease area from five acres to 10 acres in all waters.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0208 to specify criteria that allow a single extension period for shellfish leases of no more
  • than two years per contract period in case of a natural event that would prevent the lease holder from making production and marketing requirements.

Other proposed rule changes would amend:

  • 15A NCAC 03J .0104, 15A NCAC 03L .0102, 15A NCAC 03O .0501 and 15A NCAC 03O .0503, to establish a Permit for Weekend Trawling for Live Shrimp.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0503 to relocate a 2003 requirement for a permit for dealers transacting in spiny dogfish from proclamation into rule.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0114 to increase penalties for gear larceny.
  • 15A NCAC 03R .0103 to correct a coordinate in a primary nursery area boundary for Wade Creek in Carteret County.
  • 15A NCAC 03O .0501 to clarify license requirements for leaseholder designees.
  • 15A NCAC 03M .0522 to re-establish a rule delegating proclamation authority to the fisheries director to specify time, area, means and methods, season, size, and quantity of spotted seatrout harvested in North Carolina, allowing for continued management under the North Carolina Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan due to an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission plan to remove spotted seatrout from its managed species.
  • 15A NCAC 03H .0103 and 15A NCAC 03K .0110 to modify the fisheries director’s proclamation authority for the protection of public health.
  • 15A NCAC 03P .0101 to align the method of commencement of proceedings to suspend or revoke a fishing license, permit, or certificate with other similar administrative proceedings by the division and commission.

For more information on the proposed rules, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-proposed-rules-links or contact Catherine Blum at 252-808-8014 or Catherine.Blum@ncdenr.gov.

The Marine Fisheries Commission is scheduled to give final approval of the proposed rules and the amendments to the Oyster and Hard Clam fishery management plants at its February meeting. The rules have an intended effective date of May 1, 2017.

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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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