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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - July 2011

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives - July 2011


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: (252) 726-7021
Date: July 26, 2011

Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting Slated for Raleigh

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Aug. 10-12 at the Holiday Inn Brownstone, 1707 Hillsborough St., Raleigh.

The meeting is open to the public.

The commission plans to review public input received about allowing an Atlantic Ocean striped bass commercial hook-and-line fishery. The commission is also slated to decide how it wants to manage the ocean striped bass fishery for the upcoming season.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries held five meetings in different regions of the coast and in Raleigh to receive public comment on this idea. The commission directed the division to examine a commercial hook-and-line fishery for ocean-caught striped bass to help avoid waste after reviewing incidents of dead discards of striped bass in the ocean trawl fishery this winter.

Also scheduled is a review of management options for ending overfishing within two years of adoption of the Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan. The commission will be asked to vote to send these options out for public input.

A new law passed last year requires all fishery management plans to end overfishing within two years of final adoption. A draft Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan that was developed prior to passage of the law and tentatively approved in November, does not meet this criteria.

Other agenda items include review of a draft amendment to the Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan and review of a new stock assessment for blue crab.

The meeting begins with a public comment session at 6 p.m. Aug. 10. Anyone who wishes to speak to the commission on a fisheries-related matter may do so then or at 9:15 a.m. Aug. 11. Due to time constraints, the commission chairman asks individuals to speak only once, either on Aug. 10 or on Aug. 11, but not during both public comment periods.

The business session of the meeting begins at 9 a.m. Aug. 11 and 8:30 a.m. Aug. 12.

A full meeting agenda is attached.

nr-30-11


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: (252) 726-7021
Date: July 14, 2011

Core Sound Closes to Large Mesh Gill Nets
to Protect Sea Turtles

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will close the southern part of Core Sound, Back Sound, The Straits and North River to large mesh gill net fishing Monday.

The action is being taken due to the number of observed sea turtle interactions that have occurred since June 1.

“This is the same general area where we saw concentrated numbers of sea turtle interactions in the summer of 2010, prompting a closure then,” said Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. “By doing so, the state is trying to maintain protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles while continuing the flounder gill net fishery in areas where few or no sea turtle interactions have been observed.”

North Carolina’s inshore large-mesh gill net fishery has operated under a lawsuit settlement agreement between the state and the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center since May 15, 2010. As part of the agreement, the division is observing large-mesh gill net fishing in inshore waters to track interactions with sea turtles.

From June 1 to July 13, division observers and Marine Patrol officers reported eight interactions with sea turtles in the southern area of Core Sound. Of those, three were live green turtles, four were live Kemp’s ridley turtles and one was a dead Kemp’s ridley turtle.

The state is also seeking a statewide Incidental Take Permit under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act for North Carolina’s gill net fisheries.

The closure takes effect at 7:19 p.m. Monday and applies to Core ll gill nets between 4 inches and 6 ½ inches stretched mesh that are fished as set nets. The closure does not apply to run-around, strike or drop nets that are used to surround a school of fish and then are immediately retrieved.

The closure area encompasses the southern part of Core Sound, Back Sound, The Straits and North River and all tributaries. The northern boundary line runs approximately from the Club House on Core Banks to Davis on the mainland. The southern boundary line runs approximately from a point on Shackleford Banks to Lennoxville Point to the head of Turner Creek. The eastern boundary is at the COLREGS demarcation at Barden Inlet. For specific regulations, with latitude and longitude coordinates, and a map of the closure area, see Proclamation M-24-11 on the division’s website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

The closure will remain in place until Sept. 1.

For more information, contact Brian Conrad, the division’s protected species biologist, at (252) 808-8061 or Brian.Conrad@ncdenr.gov.

nr-29-11


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: (252) 726-7021
Date: July 13, 2011

Greensboro Man Hooks New State Record
Queen Triggerfish

MOREHEAD CITY – A Piedmont North Carolina man reeled in a state record queen triggerfish during a recent fishing trip off Wrightsville Beach.

William Timothy Cox of Greensboro caught the 10-pound, 5-ounce fish May 22 at Same Ole Hole, located about 40 miles off Wrightsville Beach. The fish measured 30 inches from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail and had a 23-inch girth.

He was fishing on a private vessel and caught the fish using cut bait on 80-pound line test with a Billfisher Rod and Penn 11414 reel.

This establishes a new state record queen triggerfish; no prior state record existed. To establish a new state record, the fish must be within reasonable range of the world record and exceptionally large for North Carolina, as determined by N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries staff and a N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament Advisory Board.

The world record queen triggerfish was 14-pounds, 3 ounces, caught off Cancun, Mexico in 2009.

For more information, contact Carole Willis, N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament coordinator with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries at (252) 808-8081 or Carole.Y.Willis@ncdenr.gov. For a photo of Cox and his catch, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/2011-record-queen-triggerfish.

nr-28-11


Release: Immediate
Contact: Catherine Bruger
Phone: (727) 824-5305, FAX (727) 824-5308
Email: Catherine.Bruger@noaa.gov
Date: July 8, 2011

Commercial Harvest of Black Sea Bass Closing to
Vessels Fishing
in the South Atlantic Federal Waters on July 15, 2011

The commercial sector for black sea bass in federal waters of the South Atlantic from 35°15.19' N. lat. (the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, N.C.) to Key West, Fla., will be closed, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time), July 15, 2011, through 12:01 a.m. June 1, 2012. NOAA Fisheries Service has determined the 2011-2012 commercial quota of 309,000 pounds has been reached.

The operator of a vessel that has been issued a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper and that is landing black sea bass for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such black sea bass prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, July 15, 2011. All black sea bass pots must be removed from South Atlantic federal waters subject to the closure prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, July 15, 2011.

During the closure, all harvest and possession of black sea bass in or from closed federal waters of the South Atlantic is subject to the applicable bag and possession limits, and the sale or purchase of black sea bass taken from closed federal waters is prohibited. In addition, those bag and possession limits, and the prohibition on sale or purchase apply in state and federal waters of the South Atlantic for a vessel for which a valid federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued.

The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to sale or purchase of black sea bass that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, July 15, 2011, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

Closure of commercial fishing for black sea bass in federal waters of the South Atlantic from 35°15.19' N. lat. (the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC) to Key West, FL, complies with the regulations implementing the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region and is necessary to protect the black sea bass resource.

If you would like to receive these fishery bulletins via email as soon as they are published, please email us at SERO.Communications.Comments@noaa.gov.

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.

FB11-057

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • (252) 726-7021 or 1-800-682-2632

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