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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - April 2013

Marine Fisheries

Release: Immediate
Date: April 23, 2013
Contact: Karla Gore
Phone: 727-824-5305
Email: karla.gore@noaa.gov

NOAA Fisheries Announces a Final Rule for South Atlantic Golden Tilefish

NOAA Fisheries has published a final rule to implement Amendment 18B to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. Amendment 18B establishes a longline endorsement program to limit participation and reduce overcapacity in the golden tilefish component of the snapper-grouper fishery. A final rule implementing these regulations published in the Federal Register on April 23, 2013 (78 FR 23858), with an effective date of May 23, 2013.
 
The final rule for Amendment 18B includes:

  • An endorsement program for the longline sector of the golden tilefish component of the snapper-grouper fishery.
  • Establishment of landings criteria to determine who will receive endorsements. Only golden tilefish fishermen who meet certain landings criteria and also have a valid Unlimited South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Permit will receive an endorsement and be allowed to use longline gear to harvest golden tilefish.
  • An appeals process for the golden tilefish endorsement program.
  • Establishment of a procedure to allow transferability of golden tilefish endorsements.
  • Allocation of 75% of the commercial annual catch limit to the longline sector and 25% to the hook-and-line sector.
  • Modification of the golden tilefish trip limits to remove the 300 pound gutted weight trip limit when 75% of the commercial annual catch limit is caught.
  • Establishment of a 500 pound gutted weight trip limit for those who do not qualify for a golden tilefish endorsement.

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the existing regulations. Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the regulations as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.

More Information
For more information on Amendment 18B please click on this link to the Amendment 18B Frequently Asked Questions http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/SASnapperGrouperHomepage.htm or view the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Web page at: www.safmc.net

FB-13-033


Release: Immediate
Date: April 8, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Recreational Black Sea Bass Season Reopens May 19
North of Cape Hatteras

MOREHEAD CITY — The recreational black sea bass fishing season will open May 19 in both federal and North Carolina waters north of Cape Hatteras.

During the open season, the minimum size limit will be 12.5 inches, and the bag limit will be 20 fish per person, per day.

The season will close Oct. 14, and will reopen again from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.

The recreational black sea bass regulations north of Cape Hatteras comply with the Mid Atlantic Fisheries Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Plan.

The recreational black sea bass fishery south of Cape Hatteras is managed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and will remain closed until June 1.

For more information, contact Chris Batsavage at 252-808-8009 or Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov.

nr-18-13


Release: Immediate
Date: April, 2 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Public Input Sought on Management of Sheepshead Fishery

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is seeking public input on how to best manage the sheepshead fishery.

Three advisory committees have scheduled upcoming meetings to discuss whether to recommend that the Marine Fisheries Commission give the director of the Division of Marine Fisheries proclamation authority to specify seasons, fishing areas, size limits, trip limits and gear limits for sheepshead. Also, a range of size and bag limits will be presented to gather public comments.

The meeting agendas are attached. They are set for:

April 17 at 6 p.m.
Southern Regional Advisory Committee
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Wilmington Office
127 Cardinal Drive Ext., Wilmington
Contacts: Chip Collier, 910-796-7215 or Chip.Collier@ncdenr.gov
Mike Marshall, 252-808-8077 or Mike.Marshall@ncdenr.gov

April 18 at 6 p.m.
Northern Regional Advisory Committee
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office
943 Washington Square Mall, Washington
Contacts: Kathy Rawls, 252-264-3911 or Kathy.Rawls@ncdenr.gov
Katy West, 252-946-6481 or Katy.West@ncdenr.gov

April 23 at 10:30 a.m.
Finfish Advisory Committee
Division of Marine Fishery Central District Office
5285 Hwy 70 West, Morehead City
Contacts: Kathy Rawls, 252-264-3911 or Kathy.Rawls@ncdenr.gov
David Taylor, 252-808-8074 or David.L.Taylor@ncdenr.gov

Comments may also be sent in writing to Chip Collier, 127 Cardinal Dr., Wilmington, NC 28405 or Chip.Collier@ncdenr.gov.

Sheepshead is a highly sought recreational fish and is caught in a variety of commercial fisheries. Until last year, sheepshead was managed under the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan, and was included in a 20-fish snapper-grouper recreational bag limit aggregate. When sheepshead was removed from the South Atlantic plan, management of the fishery was left up to the state. No state regulations prevent overfishing of sheepshead. If adopted, a rule giving the division director proclamation authority wouldn’t take effect until at least April 1, 2014.

There are no published stock assessments for the North Carolina stock of sheepshead; however, it is a common practice in fisheries management to set size limits to allow fish to reach spawning size. Most sheepshead are mature at 12 inches fork length, and all are mature at 14 inches.

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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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