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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 12 2016 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Dec. 16, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

New regulation for shrimp trawl gear takes effect Jan. 1

MOREHEAD CITY — A new regulation for shrimp trawl gear will go into effect Jan. 1 for North Carolina’s rivers, creeks and sounds.

The regulation sets a maximum combined shrimp trawl headrope length of 220 feet for all internal coastal waters where there are no existing headrope length requirements.

The headrope is the top line of the net that acts as the support structure for the trawl webbing. Its length is measured from the outermost mesh knot at one end of the webbing support structure of a trawl following along the line to the outermost mesh knot at the opposite end of the support structure.

Specific area headrope requirements for different water areas can be found in rule 15A NCAC 03L. 0103 on page 41 of the Marine Fisheries Commission rulebook here.

The rule implements a provision of Amendment 1 to the North Carolina Shrimp Fishery Management Plan, adopted by the Marine Fisheries Commission in February 2015. The management strategy was put into place to put a cap on fleet capacity. The Marine Fisheries Commission allowed a two-year phase out period for vessels using more than 220 feet of combined headrope.

For more information, contact Chris Stewart, with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries at 910-796-7370 or Chris.Stewart@ncdenr.gov.

nr-90-2016


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Dec. 14, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

Advisory committees to meet, accept public comment
on petition impacting shrimp trawling

MOREHEAD CITY — Five advisory committees to the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission will meet jointly next month to discuss and take public comment on a petition for rulemaking calling for habitat protections that, if adopted, would impact shrimp trawl fishing in most North Carolina waters.

The meeting will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, 203 South Front St., New Bern. The Finfish, Shellfish/Crustacean, Habitat and Water Quality, Northern Regional and Southern Regional advisory committees will be asked to review and comment on the petition for rulemaking submitted Nov. 2 by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.

To accommodate as many speakers as possible, those who wish to give public comment at the meeting will be limited to three minutes per person.

Members of the public also may comment on the petition in writing to NCWFPetition@ncdenr.gov or to:

NCWF Petition
Marine Fisheries Commission Office
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
PO Box 769
Morehead City, N.C. 28557

Written comments will be accepted from Dec. 20 until 5 p.m. Jan. 20.

The petition asks the commission to designate all coastal fishing waters (including the ocean out to three miles) not otherwise designated as nursery areas as special secondary nursery areas; establish clear criteria for the opening of shrimp season; and define the type of gear and how and when gear may be used in special secondary nursery areas during shrimp season.

Specific requests of the petition include:

  • Limiting shrimp trawling to three days a week in the daytime only in special secondary nursery areas
  • Limiting the total trawl head rope to 90 feet (which will limit the size of the net) in all state waters
  • Limiting tow times to 45 minutes in special secondary nursery areas
  • Opening shrimp season once the shrimp count in Pamlico Sound reaches 60 shrimp per pound, heads on
  • Implementing an 8-inch size limit for spot and a 10-inch size limit for American croaker
  • Requiring all fishermen to use two Division of Marine Fisheries-certified bycatch reduction devices when trawling in state waters

The commission will discuss and vote on the petition for rulemaking at its February business meeting.

View a copy of the petition here.

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

nr-89-2016


Release: IMMEDIATE
Contact: Sarah M. Young; Patricia Smith
Date: Dec. 14, 2016
Phone: 919-707-8604; 252-808-8025

State Coastal Management and Marine Fisheries staff move to
temporary locations in Elizabeth City

RALEIGH — Temporary offices in Elizabeth City are now open for staff in the state’s coastal and marine fisheries agencies. The former Elizabeth City location closed in early November for facility repairs.

Staff in the state’s Division of Coastal Management in Elizabeth City have moved to a temporary location at 401 South Griffin Street, Suite 300, Elizabeth City.

Division of Coastal Management staff may be reached by calling 252-264-3901. Members of the public seeking a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) permit may now go to the 401 South Griffin Street location.

Division of Marine Fisheries staff in Elizabeth City are still moving in to their new office at 105-A Impact Blvd., Elizabeth City. Staff may be reached by calling the office at 252-264-3911 or 800-338-7805; however, the license sales office is not yet operational.

Members of the public seeking a fishing license or permit should go to the Department of Environmental Quality’s Washington Regional Office or the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Manteo Field Office.

The Washington Regional office is located at 943 Washington Square Mall in Washington and the phone number is 252-946-6481. The Manteo Field Office is located at 1021 Driftwood Drive, Manteo. The phone number is 252-473-5734.

Additionally, Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses may be purchased at many sporting goods and bait and tackle shops; online at http://www.ncwildlife.org; or by phone, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 888-248-6834.

nr-88-2016

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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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