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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 2004 Stock Status Report

Marine Fisheries

Stock Status of Important Coastal Fisheries in North Carolina
Archival Reports: 2004

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
Overfished
Unknown
Comments
Bass, Black Sea            
N. of Hatteras

X

        Based on the NEFSC survey, black sea bass north of Cape Hatteras are no longer overfished.
S. of Hatteras      

X

  Overfished based on SAFMC assessment. Size and bag limits should address concerns.
Bass, Striped            
Albemarle-Roanoke X         New management plan approved in May 2004 to manage a recovered stock.
Atlantic Ocean X         ASMFC is currently managing under Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass.
Central/Southern       X   Stocks are much lower than historical levels. Despite stocking efforts, numbers of mature fish on the spawning grounds are relatively low. Analysis of data collected on the spawning grounds indicates that the stock is being overfished. "New management plan approved in May 2004".
Bluefish   X       ASMFC/MAFMC FMP. Biomass models infer fishing mortality has steadily declined since 1987. A 2004 stock assessment is pending review.
Catfishes (A)         X Independent and dependent sampling began March 2004 to fulfill Data/Research needs for up coming FMP
Croaker, Atlantic (+)         Awaiting the completion of a coastwide stock assessment from the ASMFC in the fall 2004. 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 X         SAFMC plan approved in 2004.
Drum, Red   X       Current regulations are designed to divert overfishing allowing for increased juvenile recruitment to the adult population and subsequent stock recovery.
Eel, American         X Much remains unknown about American eel life history and fisheries. Juvenile recruitment survey for North Carolina was initiated in 2001 as part of the ASMFC eel FMP.
Flounder, Southern       X   Stock is overfished and overfishing is still occurring based on the 2004 stock assessment. A North Carolina FMP is being developed and is scheduled for final approval in December 2004.
Flounder, Summer X         Dramatic improvements in age distributions, spawning stock biomass, and fishing mortality have occurred since the early 1990's. The stock appears to be viable.
Grouper, Gag X         Assessment indicates recovery goal has been met.
Herring, River (A)            
Albemarle Sound       X   River herring FMP approved by MFC February 2000. FMP is up for review 2004-2005. Reduced number of age classes in harvest, low juvenile production, fewer numbers of repeat spawners. Chowan River pound net harvest allocation has not been reached since 2001.
Other Areas         X No current sampling program.
Kingfishes (A)         X Gill nets and shrimp trawls are responsible for most of the N.C. commercial catch. However, since 2000, landings from ocean gill nets have been on the rise and comprised 75% of the commercial landings in 2003. A North Carolina FMP is slated to begin in 2005.
Mackerel, King X         Based on the 2003 stock assessment the spawning stock biomass is above target and fishing mortality is below target. Concern over estimates of Atlantic and Gulf stock mixing rates in south Florida and addition of up to date aging data has delayed the 2004 stock assessment.
Mackerel, Spanish X         Based on the 2003 stock assessment, spawning stock biomass is above target and fishing mortality is below target.
Menhaden, Atlantic X         F is slightly above target and fecundity is well above target
Monkfish   X       FMP developed by NE/MAFMC - 10 year recovery period.
Mullet, Striped     X     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     Independent and dependent sampling began March 2004 to fulfill Data/Research needs for up coming FMP
Perch, Yellow     X     Independent and dependent sampling began March 2004 to fulfill Data/Research needs for up coming FMP
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 Comments
Scup   X       Assessment indicates scup no longer overfished; survey data indicate strong recruitment and some rebuilding of age structure. However, stock status with respect to overfishing cannot currently be evaluated due to unknown estimates of discard mortality.
Shad, American     X     Landings and juvenile abundance increased. ASMFC FMP is in place. DMF is conducting fishery dependent and independent sampling.
Shad, Hickory         X Commercial landings second lowest reported since 1997. No assessment work has been conducted since 1993.
Sharks       X   Although federal, commercial, and recreational harvest restrictions have been in place since 1993, and a state commercial retention prohibition since 1997, no conclusive evidence exists to suggest that stocks as a whole are recovering for these slow growing, late maturing animals.
Spiny Dogfish       X   MA/NEFMC plan for federal waters and ASMFC plan for state waters developed. Female spawning stock biomass below rebuilding target. Historically low survey indicies for pup production since 1997.
Spot X         Fluctuating landings not unusual for short-lived species.
Spotted Seatrout X         Stock status heavily dependent upon environmental conditions. ASMFC FMP developed (1984), NC FMP scheduled (2006).
Sturgeon, Atlantic       X   ASMFC is responsible for managing this species and considers the stocks to be depleted along the Atlantic coast. Coastwide prohibition on possession.
Tautog       X   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     X     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.
Crab, Blue     X     Blue crabs are North Carolina's number one commercial fishery in value and number two fishery in pounds landed, with increased hard crab landings for the second year in a row (2002 and 2003). Significantly reduced landings of hard blue crabs for 2000-2002, following the historically record high landings observed during 1996 - 1999, has caused increased industry concern for the health of the resource and fishery.
Shrimp (C) X         Annual Stock. Abundances may be greatly affected by environmental conditions.
Totals 14 4 8 8 6  
Change Symbols: (+) Stock status improved since last report (-) Stock status downgraded 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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