skip to main content | skip to footer
North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

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

Marine Fisheries

Web Content Display Web Content Display

Release: Immediate
Date: May 22, 2014
Contact: Karla Gore
Phone: 727-824-5305

NOAA Fisheries Requests Comments on Proposed Actions to Expand Boundaries of Habitat Areas of Particular Concern
and to Modify Transit Provisions

Comment Period Ends July 21, 2014

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on Amendment 8 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hardbottom Habitats of the South Atlantic Region (Coral Amendment 8). The Notice of Availability for Coral Amendment 8 published in the Federal Register on May 20, 2014 (79 FR 28880), and the comment period ends on July 21, 2014.

If approved, the amendment would extend protections for deepwater coral ecosystems by expanding the boundaries of the Oculina Bank Habitat Area of Particular Concern, and the Stetson-Miami Terrace and Cape Lookout Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern.

Within Habitat Areas of Particular Concern, the use of bottom longline, bottom trawl, dredge, pot or trap is prohibited. If aboard a fishing vessel, use of anchor, anchor and chain, and grapple and chain is prohibited. Mid-water trawls are also prohibited in Stetson-Miami Terrace and Cape Lookout Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern.

Coral Amendment 8 proposes a transit provision through Oculina Bank Habitat Area for Particular Concern for fishing vessels with rock shrimp onboard. When transiting through the area, vessels would be required to have gear appropriately stowed and maintain a minimum speed. Vessel speed would be determined by a vessel monitoring system registering a ping (signal) at a rate of 1 ping per 5 minutes.

Request for Comments
Comments on Coral Amendment 8 must be received no later than July 21, 2014, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries. See the Addresses section for information on where and how to submit comments.

Addresses
Coral Amendment 8 may be obtained from:

You may submit comments by the following methods:

Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
c/o Karla Gore
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5505

NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments. Attachments 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 Coral Amendment 8, please click on this link to the Frequently Asked Questions found at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/coral/2014/am8/index.html.

FB14-036


Release: Immediate
Date: May 20, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Artificial Reef Program to Hold Public Meeting on
New Hanover County Reef Sites

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Artificial Reef Program will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. May 29 at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Wilmington Regional Office, 127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss expansion and enhancement operations for four artificial reefs off New Hanover County: Artificial Reefs 364 (Billy Murrell Reef), 370 (Meares Harris Reef), 372 (Bruce Barclay Cameron Reef), 378 and 378B (Phillip Wolfe Reef Complex). The Onslow Bay Artificial Reef Association secured a $637,500 Coastal Recreational Fishing License grant and private funding to work with the Artificial Reef Program to deploy new concrete material on these sites.

In addition, the Artificial Reef Program plans to expand the permitted reef site for AR-370 from the existing 120 acres to 600 acres and for AR-378 from 120 acres to 385. In both cases, the expanded areas correct long-time discrepancies between the permitted areas and the actual existing reef sites.

The program also plans to apply for environmental permits to formally establish an area of 73 acres for AR-378B, which has long existed without a permit, and is not depicted on navigational charts. The reef consists of three barges and scattered automobile tires and was likely originally meant to be part of AR-378. No enhancement of AR-378B is scheduled.

AR-364 and AR-372 do not need expansion since all the previously deployed material is within the permitted sites and can accommodate additional material without expansion.

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Jensen at 252-808-8051 or chris.jensen@ncdenr.gov.

nr-25-2014


Release: Immediate
Date: May 20, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

2013 Commercial and Recreational Fish and Shellfish Harvests Released

MOREHEAD CITY — The state’s commercial fishing harvest continued in a three-year decreasing trend in 2013; while the dockside value of that harvest increased for the third straight year.

Commercial fishermen sold 50 million pounds of fish and shellfish at North Carolina docks in 2013, a 12 percent decrease from 2012 and 21 percent less than the five-year average, according to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Trip Ticket Program. However, the dockside value of the catch rose to $79 million, 9 percent higher than in 2012 and 4 percent higher than the five-year average.

Recreational fishing harvest increased from 2012, but remained about the same as the five-year average and was about 47 percent below what it was 10 years ago.

Recreational fishermen landed approximately 11.6 million fish, weighing about 13.3 million pounds in 2013, a 10 percent increase in pounds over 2012, according to the division’s Coastal Angling Program.

Commercial

Hard blue crabs continued to top the list of the state’s commercial fishing species, both in pounds harvested and in dockside value. Commercial fishermen landed 21 million pounds of hard blue crabs in 2013, an 18 percent decrease from 2012 and 21 percent lower than the five-year average. But the dockside value of hard blue crabs increased 31 percent to $26.4 million in 2013.

Shrimp remained in the No. 2 spot with landings of 4.9 million pounds and a dockside value of $13 million, followed by spiny dogfish (3 million pounds and $302,248), southern flounder (2.2 million pounds and $5.6 million) and Atlantic croaker (1.9 million pounds and $1.7 million).

Commercial finfish landings were at 22 million pounds in 2013, a 3 percent drop from 2012 and 21 percent lower than the five-year average.

Atlantic croaker landings in large-mesh gill nets were down by 1.2 million pounds, adding to a 38 percent reduction in the fishery from 2012. Summer flounder landings dropped by 50 percent in 2013 due to a drop in flounder trawl landings, likely attributable to navigation issues at Oregon Inlet.

Bluefish landings increased by 53 percent due to increased landings in large- and small-mesh gill nets in the ocean.

Shellfish landings were at 28 million pounds, 17 percent lower than in 2012 and 20 percent below the five-year average. Much of the drop was attributable to the decrease in blue crab and shrimp landings.

Oyster harvests increased by 33 percent, including a notable increase in landings from the Pamlico Sound.

Recreational

Yellowfin tuna topped the list of recreationally-harvested fish. Anglers reeled in 2 million pounds of yellowfin tuna (62,110 fish) in 2013, a 28 percent increase from 2012.

Dolphin came in second with 2 million pounds (248,987 fish), followed by bluefish at 971,279 pounds (1.2 million fish), red drum, 682,964 pounds (166,608 fish) and spotted seatrout, 652,102 pounds (369,500).

The recreational red drum harvest was the highest on record in 2013 and was a 187 percent increase in pounds landed from 2012.

Recreational spot landings doubled to 462,884 pounds (1.5 million fish) in 2013, but still remained well below historic harvest levels.

Sheepshead harvest increased by 70 percent to 497,616 pounds (272,709 fish), and southern flounder harvest increased 37 percent to 408,642 pounds (177,742 fish).

The number of fish angler’s released back into the water grew to about 21 million in 2013, about a 13 percent increase over 2012.

Recreational harvest trends are closely related to recreational effort. The number of recreational fishing trips in 2013 dropped by 6 percent to about 5 million. This was a 4 percent decrease from the five-year average, and about 28 percent fewer trips than 10 years ago.

For a full landings report, click on the 2013 Annual Fisheries Bulletin link at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/marine-fisheries-catch-statistics.

For more information, contact division License and Statistics Section Chief Don Hesselman at 252-808-8099 or Don.Hesselman@ncdenr.gov.

nr-24-2014

Pages: 1  2  3  

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

NCDMF logo

38337 FEEDBACK

Your input is valuable to us. Please send us your feedback.

What type of feedback would you like to send?*

Ask a Question Report a Problem Have a Concern Make a Comment

(If you would like us to respond please include your phone or e-mail.)

Your Question has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Problem has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Concern has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Comment has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

*If you are a DENR employee with an I.T. issue, please submit a DOTS ticket.