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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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

Marine Fisheries

News Release Archives - March 2012


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021
Date: Mar. 26, 2012

New Rule Changes Codify Existing Regulations

MOREHEAD CITY — Two changes to coastal fishing rules will take effect April 1, but fishermen likely will not notice the difference.

That’s because rule changes have been in effect through proclamation authority for several years.

The first change repeals rule 15A NCAC 03M .0504, which sets specific size and bag limits for spotted seatrout.

The size and bag limit for spotted seatrout changed in 2009, and the bag limit changed again in 2011. These regulations were implemented by proclamation under a different rule that gives the director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries authority to issue proclamations to implement measures from fishery management plans. Future changes to spotted seatrout size and bag limits will be implemented in this manner, so that the spotted seatrout rule is no longer needed.

The second change amends rule 15A NCAC 03M .0519 so that it incorporates an American shad ocean closure that has been in place by proclamation since 2005. The division asked the Marine Fisheries Commission to move this long-standing proclamation into rule to aid in the clarity of regulations.

The rule changes were adopted by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission at its November 2011 meeting. They will be added as a one-page supplement to the 2011 N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission rulebook and posted on the division webpage at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/rules-and-regulations.

For more information, contact Catherine Blum, rulemaking coordinator with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, at 252-808-8014 or Catherine.Blum@ncdenr.gov.

nr-10-12


Release: Immediate
Contact: Kate Michie
Phone: 727-824-5305; FAX 727-824-5308
Email: Kate.Michie@noaa.gov
Date: Mar23, 2012

NOAA Fisheries Service Requests Public Comments on Proposed
Regulations for South Atlantic Black Sea Bass

(Comment Period Ends April 23, 2012)


NOAA Fisheries Service requests public comments on proposed regulations for Amendment 18A to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 18A)The proposed rule for Amendment 18A published in the Federal Register on March 23, 2012 [77 FR 16991]The primary purpose of Amendment 18A is to implement management measures that would optimize fishing opportunities for black sea bass, and improve data reporting in the for-hire sector of the snapper-grouper fishery
 
The proposed rule for Amendment 18A includes:
 
Commercial Sector Measures

  • An endorsement program for the commercial black sea bass pot segment of the snapper-grouper fishery, where only endorsement holders who meet certain landings criteria and also have a valid Unlimited South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Permit would be allowed to use pot gear to harvest black sea bass
  • An appeals process for the black sea bass pot endorsement program
  • Modifications to commercial and recreational accountability measures
  • A limit of 35 black sea bass pot tags issued to each endorsement holder each permit year
  • A requirement to bring black sea bass pots back to shore at the end of each trip
  • A 1,000 pounds gutted weight (1,180 pounds whole weight) commercial trip limit for the black sea bass commercial sector
  • An increase to the commercial minimum size limit for black sea bass from 10 inches total length (TL) to 11 inches TL


Recreational Sector Measures

  • An increase to the recreational minimum size limit for black sea bass from 12 inches TL to 13 inches TL
  • A requirement for selected for-hire vessels to report landings information electronically on a weekly or daily basis

*Please Note: If the black sea bass pot endorsement program is approved for implementation, a 30-day freeze on transfers of Unlimited South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Permits with black sea bass landings using black sea bass pot gear between 1999 and 2010 will begin on the publication date of the final rule, which will be announced with another fishery bulletin
 
Request for Comments
Comments on the proposed rule for Amendment 18A must be received no later than April 23, 2012, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries ServiceSee the Addresses section for information on where and how to submit comments
 
Addresses
Electronic or hardcopies of Amendment 18A and the proposed rule may be obtained from:

To request a CD of the draft environmental impact statement contact:

NOAA Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: 727-824-5305

You may submit comments by the following methods:

Electronic Submission: The Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (select “Submit Comment”, then type in NOAA-NMFS-2011-0282 in the “Keyword or ID” box)All comments received are part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change

Mail: NOAA Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
c/o Kate Michie
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

NOAA Fisheries Service will accept anonymous commentsAttachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only

Comments received through means not specified in this bulletin may not be considered

More Information
For more information on Amendment 18A please click on this link to the Amendment 18A Frequently Asked Questions found at
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/SASnapperGrouperHomepage.htm or view the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Web page at: www.safmc.net  

FB12-19


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021
Date: Mar. 23, 2012

Marine Fisheries Commission Seeks Advisers

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is looking for people to advise them on various fisheries issues.

The commission is seeking commercial fishermen from the Pamlico and Core sounds areas or other individuals interested in sea turtle protection to fill three vacancies on a Sea Turtle Advisory Committee.

Duties of the Sea Turtle Committee include reviewing sea turtle observer reports, assisting with fishermen education; determining measures to reduce the incidental take of sea turtles; monitoring observer program issues; and reviewing Incidental Take Permit applications to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The commission is seeking a charter and/or for hire fisherman to fill one vacancy on a Northeast Regional Advisory Committee.
 
The Northeast Committee reviews and advises the commission on fisheries issues pertaining to the northern coastal area of the state. These issues may be referred to them by the commission, such as draft fishery management plans, or brought to the commission’s attention by the committee.
 
Individuals interested in serving as advisers should be willing to attend meetings at least once every two months and actively participate in the committee process. Advisers will be reimbursed for travel and other expenses incurred in relation to their official duties.

Adviser applications are available online at http://www.ncfisheries.net/mfc/advisorforms.html, at Division of Marine Fisheries’ offices or by calling 252-808-8023 or 800-682-2632. Applications should be returned by April 9 to the Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557, Attention: Lauren Morris.

nr-09-12


Release: Immediate
Contact: Scott Baker: 910-962-2492 / bakers@uncw.edu
Sara Mirabilio: 252-475-3663 / saram@csi.northcarolina.edu
Katie Mosher: 919-515-9069 / katie_mosher@ncsu.edu
Date: March 16, 2012

Marine Recreational Fishing Forum Set for April 21

North Carolina Sea Grant will convene the 2012 N.C. Marine Recreational Fishing Forum on Saturday, April 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the McKimmon Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The daylong event is expected to draw recreational anglers, fisheries scientists, resource managers, elected and appointed officials, and others with an interest in the latest happenings in North Carolina marine recreational fishing.

"Sea Grant had hosted similar gatherings annually from 1992 to 1997, which today are recalled as engaging the recreational fishing community on pressing issues through a facilitated discussion outside of the regulatory arena," explains Michael Voiland , Sea Grant executive director.

"Reconvening the forum this year will support outreach and information activities for recreational fisheries data collection programs. But even more, it will provide an additional venue for communicating information on some of today's pressing issues and for garnering engagement and gathering input from the marine recreational fishing community," Voiland adds.

Speakers hail from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationCoastal Conservation Association North Carolina, and more.

The agenda will include all-embracing topics, such as state and federal officials describing catch data collection for marine recreational and for-hire fisheries; recommendations from a North Carolina legislative study committee looking at marine fisheries; and information for anglers on Atlantic sturgeon that was recently listed as endangered and the invasive lionfish.

The event is free and lunch is included, but preregistration is required. Space will be limited to the first 200 registrants. Registration will close at 5 p.m., April 13. Participants will receive a follow-up e-mail prior to the event.

For a complete agenda, registration details, directions and proceedings from past forums, go to www.ncseagrant.org/s/recfishforum.

Please contact Lisa Humphrey at  humphreyl@uncw.edu or 910-962-2490, or Scott Baker at bakers@uncw.edu or 910-962-2492 with questions regarding online registration.

North Carolina Sea Grant: Your link to research and resources for a healthier coast


Release: Immediate
Contact: Nikhil Mehta
Phone: 727-824-5305 / FAX 727-824-5308
Email: nikhil.mehta@noaa.gov
Date: March 16, 2012

 

NOAA Fisheries Service Announces New Regulations for Snapper-Grouper, Golden Crab, and Sargassum Habitat in the South Atlantic Region; and Dolphin and Wahoo in the Atlantic

Small Entity Compliance Guide


NOAA Fisheries Service published a final rule implementing the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment in the Federal Register on March 16, 2012 (77 FR 15916). Regulations will be effective on April 16, 2012 NOAA Fisheries Service approved the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment on January 18, 2012

The Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment addresses species in four Fishery Management Plans: Snapper-Grouper, Dolphin Wahoo, Golden Crab, and Sargassum habitatActions in the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment fulfill new requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as well as other management changes

The final rule makes the following changes:

  • Removes 13 species, designates six ecosystem component species, and establishes six species groups within the snapper-grouper fishery management unit
  • Specifies an acceptable biological catch control rule and annual catch limits for species in the Fishery Management Plans for Snapper-Grouper, Dolphin Wahoo, Golden Crab, and Sargassum habitat
  • Allocates annual catch limits between the recreational and commercial sectors for species in the Snapper-Grouper, and Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plans
  • Allocates annual catch limits for three snapper-grouper species (black grouper, yellowtail snapper, and mutton snapper) across the jurisdictional boundaries of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils
  • Establishes annual catch targets for the recreational sector (Snapper-Grouper, and Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plans); and accountability measures for recreational (Snapper-Grouper and Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plans), and commercial (Snapper-Grouper, Dolphin Wahoo, Golden Crab, and Sargassum Fishery Management Plans) sectors

In addition, the final rule specifies the following management measures:

  • Recreational sector for wreckfish (Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan):
    • One wreckfish per vessel daily recreational bag limit
    • A closed season of January 1 through June 30, and September 1 through December 31 each year
  • Dolphin (Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management Plan):
    • Prohibit recreational bag limit sales of dolphin from for-hire vessels
    • Establish a minimum size limit for dolphin of 20 inches (50.8 cm) fork length for South Carolina

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

Electronic copies of the amendment and final rule may be obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Service Web site http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/SAACLAmend.htm. For more information on the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions on the NOAA Fisheries Service Web site.

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

FB12-017

 

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