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Marine Fisheries - 11 2015 NR Archives

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News Release Archives - November 2015


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 24, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Commission chooses combination of
management tools for southern flounder

MOREHEAD CITY — In adopting a supplement to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission has instituted a combination of size limit changes, modifications to fishing gear allowances, total allowable landings and season closures.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the commercial minimum size limit will go up from 14 inches to 15 inches, making it the same as the recreational fishery.

To minimize regulatory discards with the size limit increase, the commission established a 6-inch minimum mesh size for anchored large-mesh gill nets.

Starting in 2016, a statewide season closure of anchored, large-mesh gill nets will be put in place each year from Oct. 16-Dec. 31. The Dec. 1-31 commercial southern flounder closure will remain in effect this year.

Also beginning in 2016, the recreational southern flounder season will close Oct. 16-Dec. 31 for the hook-and line and gig fisheries.

Flounder pound nets will be subject to a 5 ¾-inch escape panel requirement. Flounder pound nets will also be subject to total allowable landings for different water bodies that represent a 38 percent reduction compared to 2011-2015 pound net landings.

The commercial gig fishery will close when the pound net quota is met.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fishery plans to present information on what the quotas will be under these regulations at the commission’s February, 2016 meeting.

In other business, the commission voted to:

  • Forward the names of Jack Cox, Kenny Fex, Bernie McCants and Jon Haag to the governor for consideration for nomination to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council obligatory seat.
  • Send a draft amendment to the Oyster and Hard Clam fishery management plans to public comment.
  • Approve information updates for the state’s Interjurisdictional and Kingfish fishery management plans.
  • Approve Amendment 1 to the N.C. Striped Mullet Fishery Management Plan and two associated permanent rules.
  • Approve a rule that clarifies mechanical harvesting.
  • Send a letter to the governor, the state senate president pro-tem, the speaker of the state house of representatives and all members of the General Assembly requesting consideration of comments from all user groups related to the issuance of a joint enforcement agreement with National Marine Fisheries Service law enforcement.
  • Send a draft update to the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan out for public comment.

Audio of the meeting can be found online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-audio-nov-2015. For more information, contact Nancy Fish in the Marine Fisheries Commission Office at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.

nr-50-2105


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 13, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Two state fisheries staff elected chairs of federal, interstate boards

MOREHEAD CITY — N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries staff members have taken positions of influence on a federal and an interstate fisheries boards.

Michelle Duval, executive assistant for councils, was elected chairman of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in September; and Patti Fowler, chief of the Shellfish Sanitation and Recreational Water Quality Section, was elected chairman of the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference in October.

“It definitely shows the high regard in which North Carolina is held by these multi-jurisdictional boards,” said division Director Louis Daniel. “We are very proud of that.”

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is a federal board responsible for the conservation and management of fish stocks within the federal, 200-mile limit of the Atlantic off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida to Key West. The chairman approves the council’s agendas, within statutory mandates, and appoints the chairs and vice-chairs of the council’s committees. Also, staff come to the chairman for direction on how to move forward with council issues, Duval said.

For the past several years, Duval has supported a long-term visioning project for the snapper/grouper fishery, and the council will be addressing a Draft Vision Blueprint for the Snapper/Grouper Fishery at its December meeting.

“One of the things I’d like to do is see that some of the suggestions that stakeholders have brought forward go through,” Duval said.

Duval said she will also push for a cooperative monitoring project involving fishermen.

Duval will serve a two-year term.

The Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference sets the guidelines for the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Model Ordinance, which is the minimum sanitary standards that states must follow to participate in interstate shellfish commerce. Fowler will chair the executive board as well as a biennial meeting. She will set agendas, pick committee memberships.

“As chairman, I would like to challenge members to be more involved in the committees and task forces, so that we can make the best decisions for everyone involved in the National Shellfish Program,” Fowler said.

Fowler was elected for a two-year term. She will retire from the division Jan. 1, but plans to continue serving as the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference chairman.

For more information, contact Duval at 252-808-8011 or Michelle.Duval@ncdenr.gov or Fowler at 252-808-8147 or Patti.Fowler@ncdenr.gov.

Download photos of Duval and Fowler at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/111315-p_fowler-m_duval.

nr-49-2015


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 13, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Fisheries director praised for Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission chairmanship work

MOREHEAD CITY — N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director Louis Daniel received praise from his colleagues on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission as he stepped down from a two-year term as board chairman last week.

Daniel handed the gavel to newly elected Chairman Douglas Grout, chief of the Marine Fisheries Division of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

“My predecessor, Louis Daniel, has cemented his legacy as a champion of marine fisheries and a role model to those they support by guiding the commission through two productive years that included major management decisions for two of the Atlantic coast’s most iconic species, Atlantic striped bass and Atlantic menhaden,” Grout said.

 “Evidenced by the fact that a record number of commission-managed fisheries are thriving, Louis never backed away from making tough decisions and always did what he believed to be the right thing,” Gout said. “Under his leadership, the commission transitioned smoothly through a period of major staff turnover, avoided an Endangered Species Act listing of American eel and completed numerous benchmark stock assessments. In a tough fiscal environment, he also fought to provide the states with the resources they needed to get the job done.”

Among his work over the past two years, Daniel is most proud of guiding the new executive director of the commission and the adoption of productive menhaden measures.

“Being able to drive the ship like I was, was an honor,” Daniel said.

As past commission chairman, Daniel will serve a two-year term on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Executive Committee.

Moving forward, Daniel said he is looking forward to working with North Carolina’s newly-appointed representatives on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission: state Rep. Bob Steinberg of Edenton and Doug Brady of Morehead City. Daniel said he has been impressed with their participation, thus far.

Brady, a former fish house owner, has shown a lot of expertise in fisheries management, Daniel said. It is also good to have a seated legislator attending, he said.

“Only a handful of states have legislators serve in their seats,” Daniel said. “Normally a proxy serves.”

Daniel also served as chairman of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council from 2004 to 2006.

Download a photo of Daniel at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/111315-l_daniel.

nr-48-2015

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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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