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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - May 2014

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Release: Immediate
Date: May 9, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting Set

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet May 21-23 at the Clam Digger Inn, 511 Salter Path Road, Atlantic Beach.

The Wednesday night public comment period will begin with an informal question and answer session at 6 p.m. May 21. Commission members and Division of Marine Fisheries staff will be available to answer questions from the public. Afterward, the commission will hold a more formal public comment period at 6:30 p.m.

Deadline for submitting written correspondence to the commission, email or otherwise, through the Marine Fisheries Commission Office is 5 p.m. May 19. Those who wish to give handouts to the commission during the public comment period should bring at least 12 copies of the handout.

The business meeting begins at 9 a.m. May 22 and at 8:30 a.m. May 23.

The commission will discuss the current large mesh gill net closure, and how to address different aspects of a request from the N.C. Fisheries Association on management of this fishery. The closure was implemented to avoid bycatch of red drum after the red drum commercial harvest limit was exceeded in the fall.

The commission will also discuss electronic reporting and other methods that can be used to improve the timeliness of monitoring commercial landings.

Other agenda items include:

  • An overview of 2013 commercial and recreational harvest; and
  • Votes to move forward on the rulemaking process for management measures in draft amendments to the Bay Scallop, River Herring and Shrimp fishery management plans following recent departmental and legislative reviews. Proposed rules will be voted on at the commission’s August meeting.


A full meeting agenda is attached and a full briefing book can be found on the division’s website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-meetings.

For more information, contact Marine Fisheries Commission Liaison Nancy Fish at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.

nr-23-2014


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

Dean Nelson Promoted to Marine Patrol Major

MOREHEAD CITY — With nearly 19 years experience as a Marine Patrol officer, Dean Nelson knows his job – especially when it comes to fishing rules.

He knows the rules from memory, said Col. Jim Kelley.

“Not only can he tell you what the rule says, he can recite the administrative code number,” Kelley said. And he can tell you what page in the 285-page rulebook you can find it.

Nelson, most recently sergeant in the Central Marine Patrol District, received the golden oak leaves of a major in a pinning ceremony today at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Headquarters in Morehead City.

He is now the second-in-command in Marine Patrol ranks, replacing Kelley, who was promoted to Marine Patrol colonel Feb. 1. The Marine Patrol major supervises all Marine Patrol field operations for the state.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” Nelson said. “It’s a whole new step in my career.”

Nelson said he wants to continue to focus on officer training to make sure the Marine Patrol is meeting its goal of fair and consistent enforcement of all regulations. He also wants to promote teamwork among the three Marine Patrol districts.

Nelson began his career with Marine Patrol in June 1995 in the Southern District, where he was a field officer in the Sneads Ferry area. In 1999, he transferred to Central District, where he patrolled the Down East communities of Carteret County.

He was promoted to sergeant in August 2011.

Prior to coming to Marine Patrol, he was a deputy with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Department from 1991 to 1995.

Nelson was born and raised in Harkers Island, and graduated from East Carteret High School in 1984. He received his Basic Law Enforcement Training certificate from Carteret Community College in 1990.

He lives in Davis with his wife, Amy. He has two grown children, Michaela Nelson of Otway and Mason Nelson, an Airman 1st Class in the U.S. Air Force, currently deployed overseas. He also has one grandson, Easton Willis, 2, of Otway.

Nelson may be reached for comment at 252-808-8133 or at Forrest.Nelson@ncdenr.gov .

Download high resolution photographs of the pinning ceremony at portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/050214-maj-nelson-pinning-photos.

nr-22-2014


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

Coastal Waters Close to Large-Mesh Gill Net Fishing Monday

MOREHEAD CITY — North Carolina internal coastal waters will close Monday to large-mesh gill net fishing to avoid discards of red drum.

The closure will continue until at least June 1, after the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission discusses several issues related to this year’s overages in the commercial red drum fishery.

The division announced in April that the spring/summer commercial fishing season for red drum will not open this year because the annual harvest limit was exceeded in the fall/winter season. Final calculations from 2013 show that commercial fishermen landed 263,072 pounds of red drum between Sept. 1 and Nov. 23, exceeding the annual harvest limit by 13,072 pounds.

In North Carolina, commercial fishermen are not allowed to target red drum, but when the season is open, they are allowed to retain a certain number of red drum caught incidentally when targeting flounder or other species. Fishery management plans adopted by both the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission set an annual cap on this harvest at 250,000 pounds for a Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 season.

The commercial fishery must close once the annual harvest limit is met, and overages from one year are deducted from the subsequent year’s harvest limit.

Wednesday, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries received a request from the N.C. Fisheries Association asking for a closure of internal waters to anchored gill nets with a mesh length of 4-inches or greater. The request also called for:

  • Limited areas to open to large-mesh gill nets June 1 with a four-fish red drum bycatch allowance;
  • All waters reopening to large mesh gill nets Aug. 1, with seven-fish red drum bycatch allowance;
  • Exemptions for run-around gill nets and drift nets; and
  • Weekly dealer reporting of red drum landings.

“While the May closure partially addresses this request, the division cannot reopen the red drum commercial fishery until Sept. 1,” said division Director Louis Daniel. “Reopening red drum before Sept. 1 would result in non-compliance with the North Carolina and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission plans.”

The Marine Fisheries Commission will consider how to better monitor the landings of red drum and other aspects of the Fisheries Association’s request at its May 21-23 meeting. The division will present a detailed red drum landings data analysis to the commission, as well.

For more specific information on the large-mesh gill net closure, see Proclamation M-16-2014 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations .

nr-21-2014

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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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