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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - Dec 2014

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Release: Immediate

Date: Dec. 3, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Commercial Red Drum Trip Limit Drops to Four Fish Per Day

MOREHEAD CITY – Beginning Friday, the commercial daily trip limit for red drum will drop to four fish.

This measure is being taken to slow commercial red drum landings in December while the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries tallies landings from October and November.

“We cannot risk having the fishery close and disadvantaging fishermen in areas where last year’s closure had the greatest impact,” said Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.

The N. C. Red Drum Fishery Management Plan allows for an annual harvest limit (Sept. 1 through Aug. 31) of 250,000 pounds. Of that, 150,000 pounds is allocated to the period Sept. 1- April 30 and the remainder is allocated to the period of May 1-Aug. 31. However, the Sept. 1-April 30 allocation was reduced to 137,324 pounds this year to pay back overages from last year.

The division closed the 2013 fall/winter season Nov. 23 after calculations just from electronically-submitted trip tickets showed fishermen had caught 144,258 pounds of the 150,000-pound harvest limit. Later calculations included landings reported on paper trip tickets and showed the fall fishery had exceeded the entire annual harvest limit.

Landings tallied thus far this year show fishermen have harvested about 71,000 pounds. In addition, the N.C. Marine Patrol arrested two men this week who had harvested 657 pounds of red drum that will count against the commercial allocation.

“Our intent is to get as good a handle on fall landings and reassess the situation in January,” Daniel said. “If sufficient quota remains, we can raise the limit back to seven fish for the remainder of the season to minimize discards.”

For specific commercial red drum fishing regulations, see Proclamation FF-78-2014 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

For more information, contact division biologist Lee Paramore at 252-473-5734, extension 222 or Lee.Paramore@ncdenr.gov.

nr-67-2014


Release: Immediate
Date: Dec. 3, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Patrol Pulls in Commercial Red Drum Offenders

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Patrol put two fishermen behind bars after they were found with more than 16 times the legal possession limit of red drum.

Marine Patrol Sgts. Garland Yopp and Adam Carter found the catch when they stopped a truck towing a boat in the 7000 block of Market Street in Wilmington Monday afternoon.

When the Marine Patrol officers inspected the contents of the truck, they found 113 red drum weighing 657 pounds, including 14 fish that were greater than the legal size limit and weighed 106 pounds. They also found 100 pounds of striped mullet, 101 pounds of spotted seatrout, six pounds of black drum and two pounds of flounder.

In North Carolina, commercial fishermen are not allowed to target red drum, but they are allowed to retain seven red drum caught incidentally when targeting other species as long as the weight of the striped mullet, bluefish or black drum on board exceeds the weight of the red drum. The minimum size limit is 18 inches and the maximum size limit is 27 inches.

The officers seized the catch and sold the legal-sized red drum, the striped mullet, spotted seatrout, black drum and flounder to Atlantic Seafood for $1,479.75, which was the highest of three bids. The money will be held, pending a court decision in the case.

The 106 pounds of oversized red drum was donated to the First Fruits Ministries in Wilmington.

Officers also seized all the commercial fishing equipment, including the boat and trailer.

Commercial fisherman Jason Scott Sadler, 38, of 318 Bayview Drive, Stumpy Point, was charged with possession of more than the commercial limit of red drum, possession of oversized red drum, failure to display a Commercial Fishing Vessel Registration and transportation of illicit fish.

Sadler's mate, Ian Andrew Stitt, 33, of 252 Bayview Drive, Stumpy Point, was charged with possession of oversized red drum and possessing over the commercial limit of red drum.

Marine Patrol officers Carson Gaines and William Register took the two men into custody and transported them to New Hanover County Jail, where they were each placed under a $600 secured bond.

The crimes constitute a Class A1 misdemeanor. Any fines or other penalties assessed are at the discretion of the judge.

Marine Patrol Capt. Jason Walker and Lt. Mike Ervin also assisted in this case.

For more information, contact Marine Patrol Major Dean Nelson at 252-808-8133 or forrest.nelson@ncdenr.gov.

nr-66-2014


Release: Immediate
Date: Dec. 1, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

New Striped Bass Harvest Limits Set for Atlantic Ocean and Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River Management Areas

MOREHEAD CITY — New harvest limits for striped bass in the Atlantic Ocean and in the Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River areas will take effect for the upcoming winter seasons.

The annual commercial harvest quota for the ocean striped bass season, which runs Dec. 1 to Nov. 31 each year, will drop from 480,480 pounds in previous years to 360,360 pounds. The quota will be split evenly between the commercial gill net, beach seine and ocean trawl fisheries.

The recreational daily bag limit for ocean striped bass will drop from two fish per day to one fish per day on Jan. 1.

The minimum size limit for striped bass in the Atlantic Ocean will remain at 28 inches for both the commercial and recreational fishery.

In the Albemarle Sound and Roanoke River Management Areas, the striped bass annual harvest limit will drop from 550,000 pounds to 275,000 pounds Jan. 1. The annual harvest limit will be split evenly between the commercial and recreational sectors as follows:

  • 137,500 pounds for the Albemarle Sound Management Area commercial fishery.
  • 68,750 pounds for the Albemarle Sound Management Area recreational fishery.
  • 68,750 pounds for the Roanoke River Management Area recreational fishery.

The recreational size and bag limits remain the same.

The above management changes are necessary for the state to comply with the recent approval of Addendum IV to Amendment 6 to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass.

The addendum responds to results of the 2013 Atlantic striped bass benchmark assessment and the 2013 Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass benchmark assessment. Both assessments show similar trends for the coastwide stock and the Albemarle/Roanoke stock, indicating fishing mortality in 2012 was above the target, and female spawning stock biomass has been steadily declining below the target level since the mid-2000s. Spawning stock biomass is approaching its overfished threshold, and stock projections show spawning stock biomass will likely fall below the threshold in the coming years. In addition, a similar decline has been observed in total harvest for both stocks.

For more information, contact Charlton Godwin, fisheries biologist with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, at 252-264-3911 or Charlton.Godwin@ncdenr.gov.

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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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