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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. 12, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

Public hearing scheduled on proposed shellfish leases in Hyde County

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. — The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries will hold a public hearing on proposed shellfish bottom and water column leases in Hyde County at 6 p.m. on Jan. 11 at the Hyde County Courthouse, 30 Oyster Creek Street, Swan Quarter.

Callie S. Carawan of Swan Quarter has applied to lease approximately 4.65 acres of water bottom in Spencer Bay for a shellfish aquaculture operation. Additionally, Cory A. Carawan, also of Swan Quarter, has applied to lease 4.98 acres of water bottom on the east side of Germantown Bay as well as to expand an existing 4.43-acre bottom lease in Germantown Bay to a water column lease.

A map of the Callie S. Carawan proposed lease is available here.

Maps of the Cory A. Carawan proposed leases are here and here.

The public may comment on the proposed leases at the meeting or in writing until 5 p.m. on Jan. 10. Written comments should be submitted to the Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.

The application file and biologist report for the proposed leases are available for inspection weekdays between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Division of Marine Fisheries Headquarters Office, 3441 Arendell St., Morehead City.

For more information, contact Steve Murphey, Habitat and Enhancement Section chief, at 252-808-8046 or Steve.Murphey@ncdenr.gov.

nr-87-2016


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Dec. 12, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

Shrimp Bycatch Reduction Industry Workgroup to meet

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. — The Shrimp Bycatch Reduction Industry Workgroup will meet at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 9 at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, located at 203 S. Front St. in New Bern.

The committee will receive an update on 2016 testing of bycatch reduction gears and prioritize new gears for field tests in 2017. A full agenda can be found here.

For more information, contact Kevin Brown, gear development biologist with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, at 252 808 8089 or Kevin.H.Brown@ncdenr.gov.

nr-86-2016


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Dec. 6, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

New blue crab pot escape ring regulations take effect Jan. 15

MOREHEAD CITY — The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries is reminding fishermen that an additional escape ring will be required in crab pots beginning Jan. 15, 2017.

With this addition, commercial and recreational crabbers will be required to have three escape rings in crab pots. One of the three escape rings must be located within one full mesh of the corner of the pot and within one full mesh of the bottom of the apron/stairs (divider) of the upper chamber of the pot. For pots without a divider, one of the escape rings must be located within one full mesh of the corner of the pot and within one full mesh of the bottom of the pot (see diagram.)

This new regulation was adopted by the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission in May to improve the condition of the state’s blue crab stock. Management action was required under Amendment 2 to the N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan.

Other blue crab management measures adopted at the same time have are already taken effect. They are:

  • Eliminating the harvest of v-apron immature female hard crabs (excluding peeler crabs) and including v-apron immature female hard crabs in the culling tolerance (the tolerance previously included only sublegal male and immature female hard crabs).
  • Prohibiting harvest of dark sponge crabs (brown and black) from April 1-April 30 each year and including dark sponge crabs in the culling tolerance.
  • Lowering the culling tolerance from 10 percent to 5 percent for all crabs, except mature females.
  • Prohibiting crab harvest with dredges, except incidental to lawful oyster dredging as outlined in North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03L .0203(a)(2).

For more specifics on the blue crab regulations, see Proclamation M-11-2016.

Amendment 2 to the North Carolina Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan, adopted by the commission in November 2013, uses an adaptive management framework that requires annual evaluation of three biological indicators of the state of the blue crab stock. Management changes are required if the indicators meet pre-determined thresholds for three consecutive years, and the evaluation this year found that a management threshold was exceeded.

After adopting the stricter blue crab regulations in May, the commission in August, adjusted the schedule for review of the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan. Originally scheduled to begin in July 2018, the review began in September this year.

For more information about crab pot requirements or questions concerning the blue crab fishery contact Jason Rock at 252-948-3874, jason.rock@ncdenr.gov or Corrin Flora at 252-264-3911, corrin.flora@ncdenr.gov.

nr-85-2016

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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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