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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

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

Marine Fisheries

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Contact: Sustainable Fisheries
Phone: 727-824-5305; FAX 727-824-5308
Release: Immediate
Date: June 15, 2012

Commercial Harvest of the Jacks Complex Closed to Vessels Fishing in
the South Atlantic Federal Waters

The commercial harvest of the jacks complex in the South Atlantic federal waters is closed, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) July 2, 2012, until 12:01 a.m. (local time) January 1, 2013. NOAA Fisheries Service has determined the 2012 commercial annual catch limit of 193,999 pounds for the jacks complex will have been reached by this date. The jacks complex is comprised of the following species: Almaco jack; banded rudderfish; and lesser amberjack.

During the closure, all harvest or possession of almaco jack, banded rudderfish, and lesser amberjack in or from South Atlantic federal waters is restricted to the bag and possession limits and the sale or purchase of such fish is prohibited. In addition, a person on board a vessel for which a federal commercial permit for the South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery has been issued, is restricted to the bag and possession limits. Sale or purchase of such fish is prohibited during the closure for the jacks complex and would apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or federal waters.

Closure of the commercial sector for the jacks complex in the South Atlantic complies with regulations implementing the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region and is necessary to protect the snapper-grouper resource.

The operator of a vessel with almaco jack, banded rudderfish, and lesser amberjack in excess of the bag or possession limits aboard must have landed such species prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, July 2, 2012, and all sale or purchase of such fish must occur prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, July 2, 2012. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to sale or purchase of almaco jack, banded rudderfish, and lesser amberjack that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, July 2, 2012, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

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.

FB12-044 


Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021
Release: Immediate
Date: June 13, 2012

State Fisheries Commission Schedules Meeting to Discuss
Request for Declaratory Ruling

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet June 21 to decide whether to grant or deny consideration of a request for declaratory ruling regarding a proclamation related to menhaden fishing.

The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, 203 South Front St., New Bern.

Omega Protein, a menhaden processing company in Reedville, Va., filed the request, which challenges the validity of a proclamation prohibiting the use of purse seines deployed from a mother ship for the harvest of menhaden in state waters. The commission voted for this management measure at its May meeting, and N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director Louis Daniel implemented the regulation by proclamation.

A purse seine is a type of net that is used to encircle a school of fish then trap the fish when it is closed with a line passing through rings, like the drawstring of a money purse.

The division received the petition May 31 and the commission is required by law to grant or deny consideration of the request within 30 days. Should the commission choose to grant consideration of the petition, attorneys will present their arguments at a later date.

The request for declaratory ruling and the meeting agenda are posted on the division website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/june-2012-mfc-business-meeting.

Also on the agenda are votes to reauthorize rule suspensions for the purse seine closure and other regulations. These votes must occur at every commission meeting to continue any regulation that the division director has implemented by issuing a proclamation that temporarily suspends a rule.

The meeting is open to the public; however, no public comment period is scheduled.

nr-12-2012


Release: Immediate
Contact: Rick DeVictor
Phone: 727-824-5305; FAX 727-824-5308
Email: Rick.DeVictor@noaa.gov
Date: June 11, 2012

NOAA Fisheries Service Has Implemented a Rebuilding Plan for
Red Grouper in the South Atlantic

NOAA Fisheries Service has implemented a rebuilding plan for red grouper. The red grouper stock of the South Atlantic was assessed in 2010 through the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review Process. The assessment determined red grouper to be overfished (population too low) and undergoing overfishing (rate of fish removal too high). The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) is required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to implement a rebuilding plan within two years after notification of an overfished stock. Amendment 24 will implement a plan that has an 81 percent probability of rebuilding the stock in 10 years. The final rule published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2012, and is effective on July 11, 2012 (77 FR 34254).
 
Other actions in Amendment 24:

  • Implementation of red grouper annual catch limits for the commercial and recreational sectors. The sector annual catch limits are based on the Council’s allocations of 44 percent commercial and 56 percent recreational.
 

Commercial ACL

Recreational ACL

2012

284,680

362,320

2013

315,920

402,080

2014 and subsequent years

343,200

436,800

Numbers are in pounds whole weight

  • Specification of an annual catch target for the recreational sector.
  • Implementation of red grouper accountability measures for the commercial and recreational sectors. Accountability measures are management controls to prevent annual catch limits from being exceeded and to correct overages of the catch limits if they are exceeded. The accountability measures will close each sector when the sector annual catch limit is projected to be met. If a sector annual catch limit is exceeded, the Regional Administrator will publish a notice to reduce the sector annual catch limits in the following season by the amount of the overage.
  • Elimination of the commercial and recreational aggregate annual catch limits and accountability measures for black grouper, gag, and red grouper.
  • Revision of the following management benchmarks for red grouper: Maximum sustainable yield; optimum yield; and minimum stock size threshold.

More information, including Frequently Asked Questions for Amendment 24 can be found online at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.

FB12-043


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021
Date: June 1, 2012

State Seeks Applicants for Saltwater Fishing License Projects

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting applications for proposals for the 2012-2013 funding cycle from the N.C. Marine Resources Fund.

The fund, which receives proceeds from the sale of Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses, provides grants for projects that help manage, protect, restore, develop, cultivate and enhance the state’s marine resources.

Only universities, North Carolina local government entities, the state Division of Marine Fisheries and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are eligible to apply. Others must partner with one of these eligible entities.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the CRFL Strategic Plan for the Conservation and Improvement of North Carolina’s Marine Resources. The plan considers priority research needs identified in fishery management plans approved by the Marine Fisheries Commission, issues identified in the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan and research needs identified cooperatively with other agencies. The strategic plan can be found on the Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=41e41690-ec6e-4754-9b1c-38ea6df7eb91&groupId=38337.

Projects submitted for this funding cycle should fall under one of three programmatic areas:

Fish — Projects that estimate fishing effort, harvest and mortality of important coastal fish species, the socio-economic attributes of coastal fisheries or the characterization of catch and release mortality;

Habitat — Projects that improve the effectiveness of existing environmental programs or that identify, designate or protect coastal fish habitat;

People — Projects that provide increased access to fisheries resources and enhancement structures or provide better public education and enrichment products.

All proposals must be submitted to the director of the Division of Marine Fisheries by 5 p.m. July 31. Directions for submitting a proposal and an application form can be downloaded from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/crfl-grants-projects-applications-procedures. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

For more information, contact CRFL Project Coordinator Tiffany Frazier at 252-808-8004 or 800-682-2632 or Tiffany.Frazier@ncdenr.gov.

nr-20-12

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

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