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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - June 2014

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives - June 2014


Release: Immediate
Date: June 25, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Plastic Tags Meant to Head Off Double Safety Inspections

MOREHEAD CITY — N.C. Marine Patrol and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission officers will be working together in the coming days on a pilot project designed to help avoid stopping boaters twice for safety inspections and to expedite other vessel stops.

The two enforcement agencies will be attaching plastic tags to vessels after completion of safety inspections on Saturday and Sunday, and again over the July 4 holiday. The tags will serve as a visual cue from one officer to another that the boat has already been checked.

“If I see that tag, I know you’ve already been checked for safety equipment, and I don’t need to stop you to go through that process again,” said Marine Patrol Col. Jim Kelley.

Marine Patrol tested this procedure over the Memorial Day weekend, and people were receptive to it, Kelley said.

“If it continues to be well-received, we will probably use it during all of the summer holiday weekends,” Kelley said.

With a few exceptions, vessels are required to carry on board:

  • An approved fire extinguisher;
  • A personal flotation device (life jacket) for everyone on board;
  • A type IV throwable cushion; and
  • An emergency sound-making device (such as a horn or whistle).

Both Marine Patrol and Wildlife Commission officers stop vessels to check for this equipment in coastal waters. While the agencies typically do not patrol in the same areas at the same time, there have been incidents in the past where vessels have been stopped for safety inspections more than once.

The tags are meant to decrease these types of occurrences; however, the tags will not keep officers from stopping vessels for license and fish size and creel limit checks or if a violation is observed, Kelley said.

The tags also will not keep the U.S. Coast Guard from making safety checks.

For more information on the vessel tagging initiative, contact Marine Patrol Major Dean Nelson at 252-808-8133 or Forrest.Nelson@ncdenr.gov. For information on boating safety requirements, go to www.ncwildlife.org/boating or call 919-707-0031.

Download a photo of a boat safety inspection tag at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/062414-safety-tag

nr-30-14


Release: Immediate
Date: June 19, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Commission Seeks Sea Turtle Advisers

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is looking for individuals to serve on the Sea Turtle Advisory Committee and provide advice on various issues related to sea turtles.

Duties of this committee will include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing recommendations on reducing sea turtle interactions in commercial and recreational fisheries;
  • Reviewing information on sea turtle strandings and interactions; and
  • Assisting with public education.

Individuals interested in serving as an adviser should be willing to attend meetings at least once every three months and participate in the committee process, which includes reviewing scientific documents and issue papers to make recommendations on management strategies. Advisers will be reimbursed for travel and other expenses incurred in relation to their official duties.

The Marine Fisheries Commission chairman appoints committee members for three-year terms.

Applications are available online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-advisory-committees or at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ offices or by calling 252-808-8022 or 800-682-2632.

Applications should be returned by July 18 to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557, Attention: Lauren Morris or to DMF.Advisors@ncdenr.gov.


Release: Immediate
Date: June 17, 2014
Contact: Tina Berger
Phone: 703-842-0740

ASMFC Begins Preparations for 2015 Red Drum Benchmark
Stock Assessment

Arlington, Va. - The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has begun work on a red drum benchmark stock assessment. The assessment will evaluate the health of the Atlantic coast red drum population and inform the management of the species. The Commission’s stock assessment process and meetings are open to the public (with the exception of discussion of confidential data).

The Commission welcomes the submission of data sets that will improve the accuracy of the assessment. These include, but are not limited to data on growth, maturation, migration, genetics, stock enhancement, tagging, recruitment, natural mortality, and abundance/biomass. An essential need is information on the adult component of the stock as well as spawning stock condition. For data sets to be considered, the data must be sent in the required format, with accompanying methods description, to the Commission by August 1, 2014. For those interested in submitting data, including the appropriate format, and/or attending the Red Drum Data Workshop, please contact Jeff Kipp, Stock Assessment Scientist, at jkipp@asmfc.org or 703-842-0740. The deadline for data submission is August 1, 2014. All available data will be reviewed and vetted by the Commission’s Red Drum Technical Committee and Stock Assessment Subcommittee for possible use in the assessment.

The Data Workshop will be conducted October 14-17, 2014 in Charleston, S.C.. A subsequent press release will announce the specific location of the Data Workshop. The Assessment Workshop will be conducted in early 2015, with the peer review being conducted through the SouthEast Data, Assessment and Review process in August 2015.

For more information on the red drum stock assessment process, please contact Kirby Rootes-Murdy, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at krootes-murdy@asmfc.org or 703-842-0740.


Release: Immediate
Date: June 17, 2014
Contact: NOAA
Phone: 727-824-5305

Commercial Harvest of Blueline Tilefish in South Atlantic Waters
Will Close on June 23, 2014

Commercial harvest of blueline tilefish in South Atlantic waters will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) June 23, 2014. On April 17, 2014, NOAA Fisheries published an emergency rule which removed blueline tilefish from the deep-water grouper complex and established a separate commercial annual catch limit (112,207 pounds whole weight) for blueline tilefish. Landing reports indicate the catch limit will be met by June 23, 2014. Commercial harvest will reopen at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on January 1, 2015.

The operator of a vessel that has been issued a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper and who is landing blueline tilefish for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such blueline tilefish prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, June 23, 2014. The prohibition on sale does not apply to sale or purchase of blueline tilefish that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m. (local time) June 23, 2014, and held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

During the closure:

  • Harvest or possession of blueline tilefish in or from federal waters is limited to the recreational bag and possession limits.
  • Sale and purchase of blueline tilefish 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.

FB14-043

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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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