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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - July 2012

Marine Fisheries


Contact: Kim Iverson
Phone: 843-571-4366
Email: kim.iverson@safmc.net
Release: Immediate
Date: July 10, 2012

Federal Fishery Managers Seek Public Input During Series of
Meetings Scheduled for August

Fishermen, seafood dealers, federal commercial and for-hire (charter and headboat operators) and all interested persons are invited to attend a series of meetings conducted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council from August 6-16, 2012. Public hearings, workshops and informal input sessions will be held as part of the meeting series. Issues to be discussed include:

Public Hearings

  • Modifications to commercial and for-hire permits and reporting requirements
  • Protocol for closing federal waters in conjunction with state waters to help protect over-wintering shrimp
  • Modifications to federal seafood dealer permits and reporting requirements

Informal Public Input

  • Management measures affecting king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia
    • Sale of bag limit king and Spanish mackerel
    • Tournament sale of king mackerel
    • Sale of cobia
    • Elimination of latent effort in the mackerel fisheries, and more...

MPA Workshops (N.C. and Fla.)
The Council is seeking input on the occurance of speckled hind and warsaw grouper and the use of marine protected areas to reduce bycatch.

Meeting Schedule
Aug. 6 - Richmond Hill, Ga.
Aug. 7 - Jacksonville, Fla.
Aug. 8 - Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Aug. 9 - Key Largo, Fla.
Aug. 14 - North Charleston, S.C.
Aug. 16 - New Bern, N.C.

Additional details are available from the Council's website at www.safmc.net or by contacting the Council office at 843-571-4366 or Toll Free 866-SAFMC-10.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is responsible for the conservation and management of of marine resources in federal waters off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and the east coast of Florida. For additional information contact Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer at kim.iverson@safmc.net or call 843-571-4366 or Toll Free 866-SAFMC-10.


Contact: Kim Iverson
Phone: 843-571-4366 or 866-SAFMC-10
Email: kim.iverson@safmc.net
Release: Immediate
Date: July 9, 2012

Federal Fishery Advisory Panel Seats Open to Applicants

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is soliciting applications for seats currently available on its advisory panels. Working at the grass roots level, advisory panel members provide information and guidance in the development and implementation of federal fishery management plans. The Council has 11 separate advisory panels composed of individuals who are engaged in the harvest of managed species, or are knowledgeable and interested in the conservation and management of the fishery or managed species. Members include recreational and commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scientists, and concerned citizens.

Advisory panel members are appointed by the Council and serve for a three-year period, based on the frequency of meetings. As those appointments expire, members currently serving on the AP may reapply for their positions. These seats also become open to new applicants. AP members generally meet no more than once or twice each year and are compensated for travel and per diem expenses for all meetings. Applications are now being solicited for the following positions:

Coral Advisory Panel

(2) Coral Scientist Seats and (2) Marine Life/Aquaculture Seats

Dolphin Wahoo Advisory Panel

(1) Non-Government Organization (NGO) Seat

Habitat Advisory Panel

(1) Ga. Commercial and (1) Fla. Recreational Seat 

King and Spanish Mackerel Advisory Panel

(1) N.C. Commercial Seat

Law Enforcement Advisory Panel

(1) Open Seat

Deepwater Shrimp Advisory Panel

(9) Open Seats 

SEDAR Pool

* Open Seats 

Shrimp Advisory Panel

(7) Open Seats + (1) NGO Seat

Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel

(6) Open Seats and (1) Wreckfish Sub-panel Seat


*Applicants appointed to the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) Pool are eligible to serve on species-specific panels for future stock assessments.
 
If you are interested in serving as a member on the Council's advisory panels, please submit an application to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405. Applications can be obtained by contacting the Council office at 843-571-4366 or toll free 866-SAFMC-10. Application forms are also available online at www.safmc.net. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact area Council representatives to discuss their interest in serving. Contact information for all Council members is available at www.safmc.net or through the Council office.
 
Advisory panel members will be selected during the next meeting of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, scheduled for September 10-14, 2012 in Charleston, S.C.. Applications must be received by Aug. 15, 2012.
 
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, one of eight regional councils, conserves and manages fish stocks from three to 200 miles offshore of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida.

NR070912


Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021
Release: Immediate
Date: July 3, 2012

Grant Money Available for Recreational Boating Infrastructure

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting proposals for the Boating Infrastructure Grant, or BIG, Program for federal fiscal 2013.

BIG is a 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 pump-out stations, recycling and trash receptacles, navigational aids and marine fueling stations.

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 fiscal 2013, applicants may apply for up to $88,000 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 Kelly Price, the division’s federal aid coordinator, at 252-808-8168 or 800-682-2632 (in North Carolina only) or Kelly.Price@ncdenr.gov. The deadline for applications to be received by the division is Aug. 16. Electronic submission is preferred.

nr-25-2012


Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021
Release: Immediate
Date: July 2, 2012

Black Sea Bass Upgraded to “Recovering” in 2012 Stock Status Report

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries declared black sea bass, both north and south of Cape Hatteras, “Recovering” in its 2012 Stock Status Report released today.

The report upgrades the black sea bass stock south of Cape Hatteras from “Depleted” in 2011 and the stock north of Cape Hatteras from “Concern” in 2011.

“This is good news, and it reflects what we’re seeing in the catches,” said Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.

The black sea bass stock south of Cape Hatteras has been under a federally managed rebuilding plan since 2006. A 2011 federal stock assessment found the stock is not overfished but has not yet met the rebuilding target.

The black sea bass stock north of Cape Hatteras, continues to show signs that the stock is improving. A 2010 National Marine Fisheries Service’s updated stock assessment found that the stock is considered rebuilt. However, uncertainty in the stock status has resulted in conservative management of this stock.

In other stock status changes this year, American eel was listed as “Depleted.” It was listed as “Unknown” in 2011. The stock was declared depleted by a 2012 Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission benchmark stock assessment. While a determination of overfishing could not be made, the assessment indicated the stock is at or near historical lows. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering new management measures in 2012.

“While American eel is ‘Depleted,’ anytime we can move a stock out of the unknown category it’s a positive step,” Daniel said.

New to the Stock Status Report this year is black drum, listed as “Unknown.” Concern for the stock has been expressed coast-wide because of a declining trend in landings and because the majority of black drum harvested are young, potentially juvenile fish.

“The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is developing a black drum fishery management plan, and we hope a known status can be assessed in the future,” Daniel said.

The division annually grades the status of marine finfish, shellfish, shrimp and crabs as either “Viable,” “Recovering,” “Concern,” “Depleted” or “Unknown.” The grades serve as a barometer of the overall health of the state’s fishery resources, and they are used to prioritize development of fishery management plans.

A stock is considered “Viable” when it exhibits stable or increasing trends in a number of biological factors associated with healthy populations, such as a normal distribution of sizes, ages and spawning-age females or when it has met biological targets for sustainable harvest.

A “Recovering” stock shows marked and consistent improvement in the criteria listed for a “Viable” stock, but has not yet reached its target.

Stocks designated as “Concern” are those that do not have an approved stock assessment or fishery management plan, but have seen increased fishing pressure, a decline in landings, lack a normal age distribution, or are negatively impacted by environmental factors that cannot be controlled.

A “Depleted” stock is a population in which there are too few spawning females to support an active fishery. Factors that can contribute to this status include overfishing, poor water quality, habitat loss, larvae survival and disease. This status determination is based on an approved stock assessment or fishery management plan.

A stock is classified as “Unknown” when there is not sufficient data to determine trends in fishing pressure, landings or biological factors. Stocks designated as “Unknown” are often prioritized for research programs.

A complete list of the 2012 Stock Status Report can be found on the division’s website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/2012-stock-status-report.

For more information, contact Alan Bianchi in the division’s Morehead City headquarters office, at 252-808-8092 or Alan.Bianchi@ncdenr.gov.

nr-24-2012

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

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