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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation FF-51-2017

Marine Fisheries

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FF-51-2017
 

PROCLAMATION

RE: STRIPED BASS SEASON - BEACH SEINES -  ATLANTIC OCEAN

This Proclamation opens the 2017/2018 Atlantic Ocean striped bass beach seine fishery and sets harvest restrictions.

Braxton C. Davis, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Friday, December 1, 2017, the following provisions shall apply to the use of beach seines in the following areas:

I.    SIZE LIMIT
It is unlawful to possess, transport, buy, sell or offer for sale striped bass less than 28 inches total length taken from the Atlantic Ocean.
II.    HARVEST AND LANDING RESTRICTIONS
A.    The quota for the Atlantic Ocean striped bass beach seine fishery will be 120,120 pounds.
B.    It is unlawful to take striped bass with a beach seine from the Atlantic Ocean without having an Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Gear Permit (AOSBCGP) designated for the beach seine fishery.
C.    It is unlawful to possess striped bass taken with a beach seine from the Atlantic Ocean without having an AOSBCGP designated for the beach seine fishery except that possession of striped bass transferred from a properly permitted AOSBCGP beach seine operation to AOSBCGP holders of any gear (beach seines, gill nets or trawls) is allowed.  Transfers will count against the beach seine portion of the quota regardless of the type of AOSBCGP held by the person receiving the transfer.
D.    It is unlawful for an AOSBCGP beach seine permit holder to possess more than 150 striped bass per calendar day unless the striped bass exceeding the limit are being transferred to another holder of an AOSBCGP at the point of landing.
E.    It is unlawful for a striped bass dealer to purchase more than 150 striped bass from a single AOSBCGP holder per calendar day.
F.    Striped bass harvested in this fishery may only be sold to and purchased by a dealer possessing a 2017/2018 STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Atlantic Ocean.
G.    It is unlawful for an AOSBCGP holder to fail to accompany each harvest limit of striped bass until the time of sale to a dealer who possesses a valid 2017/2018 Striped Bass Dealer Permit validated for the Atlantic Ocean.
H.    It is unlawful to sell, offer for sale or purchase striped bass taken by hook-and-line.
III.    SEINE CONSTRUCTION AND USE REQUIREMENTS
A.    For the purpose of this proclamation, a beach seine is defined as a swipe net constructed of multi-filament, multi-fiber webbing fished from the ocean beach that is deployed from a vessel launched from the ocean beach where the fishing operation takes place.  One end of the beach seine shall be attached to shore at all times during the operation.
B.    Beach seine operations are limited to seines and warp lines of no more than 1,400 yards in total length, of which the seine shall not exceed 1,200 yards in total length.  Seines shall be constructed of stretched mesh size of 7 to 10 inches (inclusive) and shall be no more than 30 meshes deep.  The length of the warp line on the offshore end of the seine shall not be restricted.
C.    Beach seines shall be constructed of twine size no smaller than #9 (0.042 inches or 1.07 mm) in the wings and no smaller than #12 (0.046 inches or 1.17 mm) in the bunt section.
D.    It is unlawful for the duration of a beach seine set to exceed four (4) hours from launching to retrieval (net in to net out).
E.    It is unlawful to use monofilament webbing in any part of an ocean beach seine during the striped bass seasons established by proclamation.
IV.    SEASON CLOSURE
The Atlantic Ocean beach seine season for striped bass SHALL CLOSE by proclamation when the harvest allocation of 120,120 pounds is reached or 8:00 P.M. on Saturday, March 31, 2018, whichever occurs first.
V.    GENERAL INFORMATION
A.    This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52; and Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103, 03J .0103, 03M .0204 03M .0512 and 03O .0500 et seq.
B.    It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Director under his delegated authority pursuant to Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C.    The intent of this proclamation is to allow the commercial harvest of striped bass from the Atlantic Ocean by traditional gears within the 360,360 pound quota established for the 2017/2018 season by Addendum IV to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass.
D.    No finfish dealer may possess, buy, sell or offer for sale striped bass taken from the Atlantic Ocean without first obtaining a 2017/2018 STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Atlantic Ocean from the N.C.  Division of Marine Fisheries. Dealers must abide by all conditions of the STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT and the general permit conditions found in N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule15A NCAC 3O .0500 et seq.
E.    Only a STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Atlantic Ocean may be used for transactions involving striped bass taken from the area opened by this proclamation.
F.    Striped bass lawfully sold to a permitted dealer may be resold to a non-permitted wholesale or retail market provided the initial permitted dealer records their dealer identification number on each bill of lading or receipt involved in the shipment of striped bass.  Any individual or corporation who holds a current finfish dealer license must obtain a STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Atlantic Ocean in order to sell any striped bass personally harvested.
G.    No finfish dealer may possess, buy, sell or offer for sale striped bass taken from the Atlantic Ocean without having affixed through the mouth and gill cover, an Atlantic Ocean striped bass sale tag issued by the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.  In the case of striped bass imported from other states, a similar tag that is issued for striped bass in the state of origin must be affixed.
H.    The beach seine restrictions are being implemented to minimize interactions with protected marine resources.  The gear parameters (twine size, mesh size range, seine length and soak time) implemented above are based on input from experienced fishermen who have fished with traditional beach seines.  Fishermen are advised that should marine mammal or sea turtle interactions occur in the gear authorized by this proclamation, the National Marine Fisheries Service may implement additional restrictions in this fishery.
I.    Federal regulation (50 CFR 697.7(b)) prohibits anyone from fishing for, harvesting, or possessing Atlantic striped bass in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), with the exception for possession of Atlantic striped bass near Block Island Sound, RI, and Montauk Point, NY (697.7(b)(3).
J.    The EEZ is considered to be from three miles out to 200 miles in the Atlantic Ocean.
K.    The waters of the Atlantic Ocean, as applicable to this proclamation are defined as waters seaward of the COLREGS Demarcation Lines as indicated on National Ocean Service navigation charts for the areas to which this proclamation applies.
L.    Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Gear Permits may be obtained from all North Carolina Marine Fisheries License Offices at any time.
M.    All striped bass taken during season closures and all undersized striped bass shall be immediately returned to the waters where taken, regardless of the condition of the fish.
N.    All dealers, regardless of location, may obtain striped bass sale tags by contacting the Elizabeth City Marine Fisheries Office, (now located at 105A Impact Drive, Elizabeth City, 27909) during regular business hours at 252-264-3911 or 800-338-7805.
O.    In accordance with N.C. General Statute 113-221.1(c) all persons who may be affected by proclamations issued by the Fisheries Director are under a duty to keep themselves informed of current proclamations.
P.    Contact N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632 for more information or visit the division website at www.ncmarinefisheries.net.
Q.    This proclamation opens the 2017/2018 Atlantic Ocean striped bass beach seine fishery and sets harvest restrictions.  The Atlantic Ocean striped bass beach seine fishery will close when the harvest allocation of 120,120 pounds is reached or 8:00 P.M. on March 31, 2018, whichever occurs first.

 Braxton signature

 

Braxton C. Davis, Director
DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES

November 29, 2017
3:18 P.M.
 

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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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