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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - July 2014

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Date: July 2, 2014
Contact: NOAA
Phone: 727-824-5305

Commercial Harvest of Deep-Water Grouper in South Atlantic Waters
Will Close on July 10, 2014

Commercial harvest of deep-water grouper in South Atlantic waters will close, at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on July 10, 2014. The deep-water grouper complex is comprised of the following species: yellowedge grouper, silk snapper, misty grouper, queen snapper, sand tilefish, black snapper, and blackfin snapper. Reports indicate that landings are approaching the 2014 commercial sector catch limit of 60,371 pounds whole weight. Commercial harvest will reopen at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on January 1, 2015.

The operator of a vessel with a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper that is landing deep-water grouper for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such deep-water grouper prior to 12:01 a.m. local time, July 10, 2014. The prohibition on sale does not apply to sale or purchase of deep-water grouper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m. local time, July 10, 2014, and held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

During the closure:

  • Harvest or possession of deep-water grouper in or from federal waters is limited to the recreational bag and possession limits.
  • Sale and purchase of deep-water grouper in or from federal waters is prohibited.
  • The closure applies in both state and federal waters for a person onboard a vessel with a federal snapper-grouper permit.

This closure is necessary to protect the snapper-grouper resource

FB14-046


Release: Immediate
Date: July 2, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Continues Red Snapper Carcass Collection Program

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will collect red snapper carcasses from recreational fishermen during the upcoming red snapper mini-season.

The division has set up freezers at eight locations along the coast where fishermen can take their carcasses. In return, the angler will receive a citation (certificate) from the N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament.

The freezers are located at:

Hurricane Fleet
9975 Nance St.
Calabash

Ocean Isle Fishing Center
65 Causeway Beach
Ocean Isle Beach

Carolina Beach Fishing Center
313 Canal Drive
Carolina Beach

Tex’s Tackle
215 Old Eastwood Road
Wilmington

Dudley’s Marina
106 Cedar Point Blvd.
Swansboro

Capt. Stacy Fishing Center
415 Atlantic Beach Causeway
Atlantic Beach

Carolina Princess Fishing Center
604 Evans St.
Morehead City

Oden’s Dock
57878 N.C. 12
Hatteras

 

For a map of these locations, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/snapper/freezer-locations.

Fishermen should leave the head and tail intact on the fish carcass. Instructions on how to deposit the carcasses are posted on each freezer. Anglers will be asked to give information related to how and when the fish was caught. Fishermen also will be asked for their names and addresses in order to receive their reward and citation.

Division biologists will measure the fish, determine the sex, if possible, and remove the otoliths (ear bones) to determine the fish’s age. The information collected will be provided to the National Marine Fisheries Service for use in an upcoming red snapper stock assessment.

The 2014 recreational red snapper season will open for two, three-day weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday): July 11-13; July 18-20; and one two-day weekend (Friday, Saturday), July 25-26. There will be a one-fish bag limit and no size limit.

A commercial mini-season will open July 14 and close when the commercial quota is met. Division biologists will obtain data from commercially-caught red snapper at the fish houses. Commercially-caught carcasses should not be left in the freezers listed above.

For specific information on commercial and recreational harvest limits, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamation-ff-40-2014. To read the National Marine Fisheries Service bulletin on the subject, go to http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishery_bulletins/documents/pdfs/2014/fb14-044_sa_rs_2014_season_data_collection.pdf.

For more information on this red snapper carcass collection program, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/snapper/red-snapper-collection or contact Carole Willis, division sportfishing specialist, at 252-808-8081 or carole.y.willis@ncdenr.gov

nr-32-2014


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

Albemarle/Roanoke Striped Bass Stock Moved to “Concern”
in Stock Status Report

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ 2014 Stock Status Report reclassifies the Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock from “viable” to “concern,” due to biological factors associated with a declining population.

The division annually grades the status of important marine finfish, shellfish, shrimp and crabs as 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.

While a 2010 stock assessment concludes the stock is not overfished, several population trends have prompted concern about the status of striped bass fishery. Since 2002, the number of young fish entering the population has declined, causing a steady decrease in landings from the peak harvest in 2004. A new Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock assessment is scheduled to be approved in August, and reductions in harvest limits likely will be necessary.

Striped bass in North Carolina are managed by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, and data collected by both agencies are used to assess the status of the stocks. Amendment 1 to the N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan was approved by both commissions in 2013.       

Stocks exhibiting declining landings may be classified as “concern” even if they have an approved stock assessment and fishery management plan, as is the case with the Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock. 

The stock status of all other species remained the same as the 2013 report.

Bluefish, shrimp and summer flounder stocks remained in the “viable” category. A stock is considered “viable” when it exhibits stable or increasing trends in a number of biological factors associated with healthy fish populations.

Spotted seatrout and southern flounder were still in the “depleted” category and are awaiting the completion of state stock assessments that are underway now. A “depleted” stock is one where the population of spawning females or the entire population is too low. Factors that can contribute to this status include overfishing, poor water quality, habitat loss, larvae survival and disease.

Red drum stocks remained in the “recovering” category, and oyster and blue crab stocks remained in the “concern” category. A “recovering” stock shows marked and consistent improvement in the criteria listed for a “viable” stock, but has not yet reached its target.

Full definitions for the stock status grades can be found at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/stock-status-categories-and-definitions .

The complete 2014 Stock Status Report can be found at the Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/stock-status-reports.

For more information on the 2014 Stock Status Report, contact Lee Paramore at 252-473-5834, ext. 222 or Lee.Paramore@ncdenr.gov.

nr-31-2014

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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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