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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 2, 2013
Contact: Mary Clark
Phone: 302-526-5261

Council Invites Public to Discuss New Recreational Fishing Survey Methods at Upcoming Listening Session

Topic: Recent and Upcoming Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Improvements
Date: April 9, 2013
Location: Raleigh, N.C.
Address: Embassy Suites Raleigh Crabtree, 4700 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh, NC 27612,
Time: 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Participate Online: http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/council2013/

Recreational fishermen and other members of the public are invited to participate in an informal discussion with the Council about recent and upcoming changes in the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP). The listening session will be held on April 9 in Raleigh, NC in conjunction with the Council’s April Meeting. Rob Andrews from NOAA Fisheries will give a brief overview of recent and upcoming changes to MRIP catch and effort surveys and several other aspects of the program. Following the presentation, Rob and Council leadership will take questions and comments (in person and via online chat) from the public.

Recreational data quality was one of the most frequently mentioned concerns among anglers during the Council’s 2011/2012 Visioning Project. The MRIP team at NOAA is aware of these concerns and has spent the past several years working to improve recreational data collection methods. As a result, NOAA is making several changes in the ways that recreational catch and effort are estimated.

1. As of March 1, 2013, a redesigned Angler Intercept Survey (also known as “dockside sampling”) has been fully implemented. The new survey is expected eliminate or reduce potential sources of bias in estimations of recreational catch.
2. New catch estimation methods are undergoing testing in four states. These methods were based on MRIP studies which demonstrated that mail surveys of both postal addresses and fishing licenses are effective ways to collect fishing effort data. If the current tests are successful, coast-wide implementation of the survey is expected in 2014.

Want to know more about these changes or find out how you might be affected? Got ideas for future survey improvements? Attend our next listening session and let us know!

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

New Web Pages Highlight Marine Fisheries Observer Program

MOREHEAD CITY — New web pages on the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries website show how the state is working to collect information on what does not get brought to the docks in commercial and recreational fisheries.

The pages give an overview of the division’s Observer Program, which is designed to collect at-sea information about the commercial and recreational catch, including information on discards.

Technicians or Marine Patrol officers observe large and small mesh gill net and recreational hook and line fisheries either onboard fishermen’s vessels or from a division vessel operated in the vicinity of the fishing activity. They record data on different aspects of the fishing activity.

While there are reporting requirements for commercial seafood landings and surveys that show what recreational fishermen catch, data on discards has often been a missing piece in fisheries information. By collecting data on discards, scientists are able to include this information in stock assessments, which are used in fishery management decisions.

Observers also collect data on interactions with sea turtles and other protected species. This allows state and federal fisheries managers to better evaluate and control impacts of these fisheries on protected species.

Fishermen are required by N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission rule, the federal Endangered Species Act and the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act to carry observers on board when asked. Failure to do so may lead to enforcement action against the fisherman and could close the fishery for all users.

To view the Observer Program pages, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/observers-program.

For more information, contact Observer Program Coordinator Jacob Boyd at 252-808-8088 or Jacob.Boyd@ncdenr.gov.

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

Marine Fisheries Commission Seeks Advisers

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is seeking applications for seats available on its Sea Turtle and Habitat and Water Quality advisory committees.

Individuals interested in serving as advisers should be willing to attend meetings at least once every two months and actively participate in the committee process. Advisers are eligible to be reimbursed for travel and other expenses related to their official duties. The Marine Fisheries Commission chairman appoints members for three-year terms.

Adviser applications are available online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/adviser-applications, at Division of Marine Fisheries’ offices or by calling 252-808-8022 or 800-682-2632. Applications should be returned by April 30 to the Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557, Attention: Lauren Morris.

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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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