News Release Archives - Jan. 2014
Date: Jan. 24, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Commercial Fishing License Fees to Go Up, For-Hire,
Ocean Pier License Structures to Change
MOREHEAD CITY – The prices of most commercial licenses will go up March 1.
The fees will go up by 25 percent, including the fees for Standard Commercial Fishing Licenses and Commercial Shellfish Licenses.
The fee increases were approved by the N.C. General Assembly in this year’s state budget to help support the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Observer Program.
The observer program collects at-sea information about commercial and recreational catches by observing fishing, either onboard fishermen’s vessels or from a division vessel operated in the vicinity of fishing activity. Observer coverage is a requirement of the state’s Sea Turtle Incidental Take Permit for the gill net fisheries. Without this coverage, the fishery must close.
In addition, the for-hire fishing license and ocean fishing pier license structures will change later this year. Both licenses will change from an annual license from day of sale to a fiscal year cycle. Current licenses will be valid until their expiration date to aid in this transition.
The new for-hire license structure eliminates the Blanket For-Hire License and the free For-Hire Permit and creates three new licenses: A Blanket For-Hire Captain’s License, a Blanket For-Hire Vessel License and a Non-Blanket For-Hire Vessel License. This will allow head boat, charter boat and guide boat operators to choose whether to purchase a vessel license or a captain’s license, depending on the way they do business. The legislation also set a fee for the Non-Blanket For-Hire Vessel License and increased the out-of-state resident fees for all for-hire licenses.
The Ocean Pier License and the Ocean Fishing Pier Blanket Coastal Recreational Fishing License will be combined into one Ocean Pier License, which will still cover the licensing requirements of the anglers on the pier. The two fees will be combined and result in no increase in total cost.
The state legislature also authorized the Marine Fisheries Commission to:
- Set fees of up to $100 each for a number of fishing permits issued by the division. The division currently issues more than 20 permits at no charge and is developing a special permit for the inshore gillnet fishery.
- Establish limited entry license fees of up to $500 each. Currently, the only limited entry license the division issues is the License to Land Flounder for the summer flounder trawl fishery.
The commission is scheduled to discuss fee increases for permits and limited entry licenses at its February meeting. Establishing these license and permits fees will require rule changes, which will entail a public comment process.
The increases in permit fees were also earmarked for the Observer Program in the state budget.
A table of fee increases and their effective dates is attached.
For more information, contact Don Hesselman, License and Statistics Section chief, at 252-808-8099 or Don.Hesselman@ncdenr.gov.
Date: Jan. 17, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Jim Kelley to Head N.C. Marine Patrol
MOREHEAD CITY — Looking back over nearly 25 years in the N.C. Marine Patrol, Jim Kelley will give you two words to describe the most important qualities a Marine Patrol officer should possess: integrity and professionalism.
Kelley plans to reinforce these qualities in his officers as he leads the Marine Patrol as its new colonel.
“When someone calls, you provide an answer, you act professionally and treat everyone fairly,” Kelley said.
Kelley will officially take charge of Marine Patrol Feb. 1. He will receive the golden eagle wings of a colonel at a pinning ceremony Jan. 27.
“Jim has vast experience in all the Marine Patrol districts of the state, so he’s seen all the various activities out there,” said Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. “His knowledge and understanding of the fisheries and rules, and his willingness to work with the fishermen as best he can, make him a good fit for colonel.”
Also, Kelley will hold the distinction of being the only Marine Patrol colonel in recent years to have held every Marine Patrol rank, rising from an enforcement officer to colonel.
His experience has earned Kelley the respect of his fellow officers, Daniel said.
“He’s had his boots in the boat and been involved in multiple investigations,” Daniel added. “He’s been out there shoulder to shoulder with these guys.”
Kelley has also worked in every Marine Patrol district.
He began his career with Marine Patrol in April 1989 as a field officer patrolling the Belhaven area. He was promoted through the ranks to sergeant, then lieutenant, moving to Dare County, then the Wilmington Area. In November 2008, Kelley was promoted to captain of the Wilmington Marine Patrol District, and then to Marine Patrol major in July 2013.
Kelley replaces former Col. Rex Lanier, who retired Nov. 1.
Kelley lives in the Carteret County community of Otway with his wife, Bonnie. He also has two grown children: stepson Jason Wheeler, of Wilmington, and daughter Kandice Dean, of Greenville.
Contact Kelley at 252-808-8130 or Jim.M.Kelley@ncdenr.gov>.
The pinning ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 27 at the Division of Marine Fisheries headquarters, 3441 Arendell St., Morehead City. A photo of Kelley with his eagle wing pins will be posted following the ceremony at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/0127-colonel-kelley.
Date: Jan. 7, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Marine Fisheries Commission Approves 14
Coastal Recreational Fishing License Grants
MOREHEAD CITY – Revenues from the N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License will pay nearly $2 million in the coming year toward projects to help provide coastal fishing access and fisheries and habitat research.
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, in December, approved 14 grants, totaling $1.78 million, for the 2014 cycle.
The grants are sorted into three focus areas. Grants that fall under the People Focus Area include public education and public water access projects. Grants that fall under the Fish Focus Area are fisheries research projects. Grants that fall under the Habitat Focus Area are projects that enhance, protect or research fisheries habitat.
People Focus Area – Six grants totaling $1,177,798 were awarded:
- Wildlife Resources Commission, Rose Bay Boating Access Area - $250,000
One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area off U.S. 264, southeast of Scranton in Hyde County.
- Onslow Bay Artificial Reef Association, Enhancement of Three Artificial Reefs in Onslow Bay - $637,500
One year grant to add materials to the Billy Murrell, Meares Harris and Phillip Wolfe reefs.
- Wildlife Resources Commission, Dawson’s Creek Boating Access Area - $95,000
One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area off Janiero Road, northeast of the Minnesott Beach Ferry in Pamlico County.
- Wildlife Resources Commission, Turkey Creek Boating Access Area - $130,000
One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area on Turkey Point Road in Onslow County.
- Town of Morehead City, Newport River Beach Access Ramp Restrooms - $49,431
One year grant to complete a waterfront access project on Radio Island.
- Town of Carolina Beach, Freeman Park Hatteras Ramp and Signage - $15,867
One-year grant to construct a Hatteras ramp to provide better access at the entrance of Freeman Park.
Fish Focus Area – Five grants totaling $428,815 were awarded:
- N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Multispecies Tagging Program - $109,357
Multi-year grant to tag striped bass, red drum, spotted seatrout, and southern flounder, which will provide independent estimates of abundance and biomass, as well as data on migration rate.
- N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Carcass Collection Program - $17,300
Multi-year grant to continue funding a coast-wide carcass collection program.
- N.C. State University, Stock Structure of Spotted Seatrout: Assessing Genetic Connectivity at Northern Latitudinal Limits - $111,507
Multi-year grant to study population structure of spotted seatrout, which will allow researchers to accurately delineate stock boundaries.
- East Carolina University, Maturation and Fecundity of the Central Southern Management Area Striped Bass Stock - $40,035
One-year grant to continue research on striped bass and provide the Division of Marine Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Commission with the ability to differentiate between the wild and hatchery reared striped bass stock.
- University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Estimating Mortality for Southern Flounder Using Combined Telemetry and Conventional Tagging Approach - $150,616
Multi-year grant to tag southern flounder providing data to be incorporated directly into future stock assessments.
Habitat Focus Area – Three grants totaling $176,500 were awarded:
- N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Mapping Along the Southern North Carolina Coast - $16,500
Multi-year grant to complete mapping submerged aquatic vegetation along the North Carolina coast.
- N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Monitoring of Oyster Sanctuaries and Fish Habitat with Underwater Environmental Equipment - $145,000
One-year grant to purchase underwater camera and equipment to monitor and study oyster sanctuaries and fish habitat.
- N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Recycled Oyster Shell Collections: Shell as a Critical Habitat - $15,000
One-year grant to provide additional shell material needed for oyster habitat restoration projects through continued collection of shell from recycling sites.
For more information on these grants or the Coastal Recreational Fishing License grant program, contact Beth Govoni, Coastal Recreational Fishing License grants coordinator, at 252-808-8004 or Beth.Govoni@ncdenr.gov.