skip to main content | skip to footer
North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - NC Fisheries Management continued

Marine Fisheries

Web Content Display Web Content Display

In North Carolina, coastal fish are a public trust resource and belong to the citizens of the state as a whole. The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries is charged with stewardship of these resources. The North Carolina Fisheries Reform Act of 1997 “recognizes the need to protect our coastal fishery resources and to balance the commercial and recreational interests through better management of these resources” and requires the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission “to provide fair regulation of commercial and recreational fishing groups in the interest of the public.” Nearly all the work of the Division of Marine Fisheries is done in conjunction with the Marine Fisheries Commission. The commission establishes fisheries rules and is supported by numerous division staff and programs. Division staff also represent North Carolina on federal and regional fisheries management bodies, including the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council and the Interstate Shellfish Conference.

Fishery management plans are the ultimate product that brings all the information and management considerations into one document. The Division of Marine Fisheries prepares fishery management plans for adoption by the Marine Fisheries Commission for all commercially and recreationally significant species or fisheries that comprise state marine or estuarine resources. The goal of these plans is to ensure long-term viability of these fisheries. Stock rebuilding may take several years or even decades, dependent on the life history of the species as well as other factors that influence a species’ sustainability. 

Staff in Fisheries Management (and other sections in the division) carry out data collection, analysis, writing and presentation of plans, and ensures compliance to adopted plan regulations. The Division of Marine Fisheries and Marine Fisheries Commission are the only authorities in North Carolina coastal fishing waters that can implement plans and regulations to manage North Carolina marine and estuarine fisheries. Through this process, the commission also has authority to adopt federal fishery regulations through the North Carolina Fishery Management Plan for Interjurisdictional Fisheries, which selectively adopts management measures contained in approved federal council or Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission plans by reference, as minimum standards.

The Fisheries Management Section houses most of the Division of Marine Fisheries’ biologists and is responsible for conducting fisheries and gear research, resource monitoring and collection of biological information. This work is carried out in two coastal districts, which separate the state's uniquely different fisheries. This section also administers the popular Governor's Cup Conservation Billfish Tournament series and the Saltwater Fishing Tournament (Citation Program), collaborates with the fishing industries and other researchers, fulfills data requests received from researchers and the public about the collection programs, and addresses questions from the general public.

Web Content Display Web Content Display
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

NC logo

38337 FEEDBACK

Your input is valuable to us. Please send us your feedback.

What type of feedback would you like to send?*

Ask a Question Report a Problem Have a Concern Make a Comment

(If you would like us to respond please include your phone or e-mail.)

Your Question has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Problem has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Concern has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Comment has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

*If you are a DENR employee with an I.T. issue, please submit a DOTS ticket.