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

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

Marine Fisheries

Web Content Display Web Content Display

Release: Immediate
Date: August 13, 2013
Contact: Rick DeVictor
Phone: 727-824-5305

NOAA Fisheries is Implementing Actions for Yellowtail Snapper and Shallow-Water Groupers in the South Atlantic

Small Entity Compliance Guide

NOAA Fisheries is implementing management measures in Regulatory Amendment 15 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 15). The final rule published in the Federal Register on August 13, 2013, and is effective on September 12, 2013 (78 FR 49183).

Yellowtail Snapper

The state of Florida completed a population assessment for yellowtail snapper in May 2012. The yellowtail snapper stock is neither overfished (too few fish in the population) nor undergoing overfishing (fish being removed too quickly). The assessment results suggest the yellowtail snapper catch levels can be increased without jeopardizing the health of the population.
 
This rule increases the commercial and recreational annual catch limit for yellowtail snapper. The total annual catch limit will increase from 2,173,875 to 3,037,500 pounds whole weight. The commercial annual catch limit will increase from 1,142,589 to 1,596,510 pounds whole weight. The recreational annual catch limit will increase from 1,031,286 to 1,440,990 pounds whole weight.

Gag and Shallow-Water Groupers

In 2009, fishery managers implemented a management measure that closes the commercial sector for gag and all other shallow-water groupers for the remainder of the fishing year when the gag annual catch limit is met or projected to be met. This final rule will modify this management measure so that only the commercial sector for gag will close when the gag commercial annual catch limit is met or projected to be met.

The measure to close the commercial sector for gag and all other shallow-water groupers when the gag annual catch limit is met or projected to be met was implemented to reduce bycatch of gag. However, new information suggests this measure is not as effective as previously thought, because gag are not closely associated in landings with all of the other shallow-water grouper species. Also, since the measure was put into place in 2009, fishery managers have implemented annual catch limits, and measures to prevent the annual catch limit from being exceeded, for all shallow-water grouper species.

This final rule will also reduce the gag commercial annual catch limit from 353,940 to 326,722 pounds gutted weight to account for projected gag discard mortality from commercial trips that target co-occurring species (i.e., red grouper and scamp) during a gag closure.

This final rule will not change other management measures for shallow-water groupers such as the annual January through April spawning season closure.

More information, including Frequently Asked Questions for Regulatory Amendment 15, may be found online at:

http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/2013/reg_am15/index.html

FB13-069


Release: Immediate
Date: August 12, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Grant Money Available for Transient Recreational Boating Facilities

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting proposals for the Boating Infrastructure Grant, or BIG, Program for federal fiscal 2014.

BIG is a grant program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that reimburses up to 75 percent of costs for projects that construct, renovate or maintain tie-up facilities and related amenities for recreational transient vessels that are at least 26 feet long. The grant program was authorized by Congress in 1998 and is funded by excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel.

The state Division of Marine Fisheries serves as the liaison between projects in North Carolina and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the BIG Program. Proposals must be submitted to the division to be considered for this funding opportunity.

Some examples of potentially eligible activities include transient slips, mooring buoys, day-docks, floating and fixed piers and breakwaters, dinghy docks, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, retaining walls, bulkheads, dockside utilities (water, electric, telephone, Internet), sewage pumpout stations, recycling and trash receptacles, navigational aids and marine fueling stations. Applicants must have or intend to construct dedicated dockage for transient vessels to receive funding for these eligible activities.

BIG funds are distributed each year. Grants are available on a two-tiered basis. For Tier 1 (Basic) grants, all states may receive up to $100,000 per grant cycle as long as proposals meet the program's guidelines. Tier 2 (Competitive) grants are reserved for large-scale, more expensive undertakings and are awarded on a nationwide competitive basis. For this funding opportunity, applicants may apply for up to $100,000 under Tier 1 and up to $1.5 million under Tier 2.

For information about grant availability, project eligibility and proposal development, please visit the division’s website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf or contact division Federal Aid Coordinator Kelly Price at P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C.  28557-0769. You may also contact Price at 252-808-8168 or 800-682-2632 (in North Carolina only) or at Kelly.Price@ncdenr.gov.

The deadline for applications to be received by the state Division of Marine Fisheries is Sept. 26. Electronic submission is preferred.

nr-36-13


Release: Immediate
Date: August 8, 2013
Contact: Tina Berger
Phone: 703-842-0740

ASMFC Approves Spanish Mackerel and Red Drum Addenda

Alexandria, Va. — The Commission’s South Atlantic State-Federal Fisheries Management Board approved two addenda – Addendum I to the Omnibus Amendment to the Interstate Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) for Spanish Mackerel, Spot, and Spotted Seatrout and Addendum I to Amendment 2 to the Interstate FMP for Red Drum.
 
Addendum I to the Omnibus Amendment establishes a pilot program that would allow states to reduce the Spanish mackerel minimum size limit for the commercial pound net fishery to 11 ½ inches during the summer months of July through September for the 2013 and 2014 fishing years only. The measure is intended to reduce waste of these shorter fish, which are discarded dead in the summer months, by converting them to landed fish that will be counted against the quota.
 
The Addendum responds to reports about the increased incidence of Spanish mackerel ¼ to ½ inch short of the 12 inch fork length minimum size limit in pound nets during the summer months. While the fish are alive in the pound, once the net is bunted and bailing commences, they die before being released. This may be due to a combination of temperature, stress and crowding. While individual fishermen have experimented with different wall or panel mesh sizes depending on the target species, there is no consistent use of cull panels. Those who have used cull panels have noted the difficulty and lack of success in being able to release the undersized fish quickly enough to prevent dead discards during this time of year.
 
The measure will only apply for the 2013 and 2014 fishing years after which the success of the program will be evaluated for consideration in years beyond 2014. Interested states would be required to notify the Commission of the specific time period it intends to use the minimum size limit exemption.
 
The Board also approved Addendum I to Amendment 2. The Addendum revises Amendment 2’s habitat section to include current information on red drum spawning habitat and habitat by life stage (egg, larval, juvenile, sub-adult, and adult). It also identifies and describes the distribution of key habitats and habitats of concern, including threats, habitat bottlenecks (habitat or habitat characteristics that limit the sustainability or recovery of red drum), and ecosystem considerations.
 
Both addenda will be available on the Commission’s website (www.asmfc.org) under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at 703-842-0740. For more information, please contact Kirby Rootes-Murdy Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at 703-842-0740 or via email at krootes-murdy@asmfc.org.

PR13-40

Pages: 1  2  3  

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

NCDMF 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.