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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 2002 Stock Status Report

Marine Fisheries

Stock Status of Important Coastal Fisheries in North Carolina
Archival Reports: 2002

Click on a species name to get a more detailed report on its status.

Download a printer-friendly PDF version of this page.
Status definitions can be found here. Glossary of fisheries terms can be
found here.

Important Note: Documents containing recreational fishing catch statistics that were prepared before 02/01/2012 will be
updated to reflect changes in the methodology used to produce estimates.
For more information contact Doug.Mumford@ncdenr.gov.


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Species and Stock Status
 
Viable
Recovering
Concern
Depleted
Unknown
Comments
Bass, Black Sea            
N. of Hatteras       X   Overfished based on ASMFC assessment.
S. of Hatteras           Overfished based on SAFMC assessment; new size and bag limits should address concerns.
Bass, Striped            
Albemarle-Roanoke           1994 Management plan is being amended to manage a recovered stock.
Atlantic Ocean X         ASMFC developing Amendment 6 to manage recovered stock
Central/Southern           Stocks are much lower than historical levels. Despite stocking efforts, numbers of mature fish on the spawning grounds are relatively low. NC FMP is being developed.
Bluefish   X       ASMFC/MAFMC plan developed.Biomass models infer reduced fishing mortality should result in stabilization of the stock.
Catfishes (A)           No current sampling program due to budget and personnel constraints
Croaker, Atlantic     X     A recruitment driven stock where biomass and landings fluctuate in response to large year classes. The ocean fisheries appear viable and there has been a recent expansion of the length distribution from inside waters.
Dolphin/Wahoo           SAFMC plan to be approved and implemented in 2002
Drum, Red       X   Low recruitment of juvenile stock to adult stock. NC FMP finalized April 2001.
Eel, American           Much remains unknown about American eel life history and fisheries. Juvenile recruitment survey for North Carolina was initiated in 2000 as part of the ASMFC eel FMP
Flounder, Southern       (-)   Stock is overfished based on updated stock assessment, which indicates a 32% decline in population biomass over the past decade. NC FMP is being developed.
Flounder, Summer           Dramatic improvements in age distribution, spawning stock biomass, and fishing mortality have occurred since the early 1990's. The stock appears to be near viable status.
Grouper, Gag (+)         New assessment indicates recovery goal has been met.
Herring, River (A)            
Albemarle Sound       X   River Herring FMP approved by MFC February 2000. Reduced number of age classes in harvest, low juvenile production, fewer number of repeat spawners.
Other Areas           No current sampling program.
Kingfishes (A)         X Sink nets and shrimp trawls responsible for most of the commercial ocean catch. Commercial landings decline in 2001 attributed to reduced effort in the shrimp trawl fishery. Recreational landings declined slightly.
Mackerel, King           "Based on the 1999 stock assessment, spawning stock biomass is above target and fishing mortality is below target."
Mackerel, Spanish X         "Based on the 1999 stock assessment, spawning stock biomass is above target and fishing mortality is below target."
Menhaden, Atlantic           Very high spawning stock; improved recruitment of juveniles.
Monkfish       X   FMP developed by NE/MAFMC - 10 year recovery period.
Mullet, Striped           Large yearly landings and heavy fishing effort during its spawning period are cause for concern. Fishery management plan is currently being written.
Perch, White     X     No sampling programs due to budget and personnel constraints
Perch, Yellow           No sampling programs due to budget and personnel constraints
Reef Fish (B)     X     Of the 73 species (including black sea bass) in the SAFMC unit, 17 are considered overfished
Species and Stock Status
  Viable Recovering Concern Overfished Unknown Marine Fisheries Comments
Scup           Stock size near record-low levels. Spawning stock biomass improving.
Shad, American     X     ASMFC plan in place. DMF conducting fishery dependent and independent sampling.
Shad, Hickory           Landings and abundance increasing.
Sharks       X   Increases in fishing pressure over the past eleven years prompted State and federal fishery management measures.
Sharks, Dogfish           FMP developed for federal waters by MA/NEFMC; ASMFC plan under development--15-20 year recovery period
Spot X         Fluctuating landings not unusual for short-lived species.
Spotted Seatrout           ASMFC plan developed. Stock status heavily dependent upon environmental conditions.
Sturgeon, Atlantic       X   ASMFC is responsible for managing this species and considers the stocks to be depleted along the Atlantic coast. Coast-wide prohibition on possession.
Tautog           Current ASMFC coastwide assessment considers tautog overfished. NC statewide assessment has not be conducted.
Weakfish X         Viable based on all criteria. Record high spawning stock biomass, expanded age structure, and low fishing mortality.
Shellfish and Crustaceans
Clam, Hard         X Although landings data exist on clams, more data are required for stock status. NC FMP approved 2001.
Oyster, Eastern           Concern status due to high mortality from Dermo infections, evidence of increased oyster habitat loss, low catch-per-unit-effort, and reduced spatfall in the northern area. NC FMP approved 2001.
Scallop, Bay     X     Low landings and recruitment were caused by varying environmental conditions and heavy predation by rays.
Crab, Blue           Significantly reduced landings of "hard" blue crabs for 2000 and 2001, following the historically record high landings observed during 1996 - 1999, has caused increased industry concern for the health of the resource and fishery. It is still unclear if the decline in crab harvest can be directly attributed to the effects of the 1999 hurricanes (Dennis, Floyd, and Irene), because crab catches are depressed all along the east coast. NC FMP of 1998 is under review.
Shrimp (C) X         Annual Stock. Abundances may be greatly affected by environmental conditions.
Totals 11 2 11 10 6  
Change Symbols (+) Stock status improved since last report   (-) Stock status declined since last report  
(A) Catfishes includes 5 species, Kingfishes (Sea Mullet) includes 3 species, and there are two species of river herring.
(B)The reef fish group includes about 75 species, while there are more than 40 species of sharks. Within these groups, individual species range from Viable to Overfished. The status indicated is for the group as a whole.
(C)
Shrimp consists of 3 species - brown, pink, and white.
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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