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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives Nov 2013

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives - November 2013


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 27, 2013
Contact: NOAA
Phone: 727-824-5305

Commercial Harvest of Red Porgy and Vermilion Snapper
in South Atlantic Waters Closes on December 2, 2013

Commercial harvest of red porgy and vermilion snapper in South Atlantic waters will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on December 2, 2013. The 2013 commercial catch limit for red porgy is 153,000 pounds whole weight. The 2013 catch limit for vermilion snapper is 613,278 pounds whole weight. Reports indicate that commercial landings for both species are rapidly approaching the 2013 catch limits.

The operator of a vessel with a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper that is landing red porgy or vermilion snapper for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such fish prior to 12:01 a.m. (local time), December 2, 2013. The prohibition on sale does not apply to sale or purchase of red porgy or vermilion snapper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m. (local time), December 2, 2013, and held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

During the closure:

  • Sale and purchase of red porgy and vermilion snapper are prohibited.
  • The closure applies in both state and federal waters.

Commercial harvest or possession of red porgy is prohibited during January - April each year. Therefore, the commercial closure of red porgy will be effective until May 1, 2014. The commercial closure for vermilion snapper is effective until January 1, 2014.

Recreational Sector:
During the commercial sector closure, all harvest and possession of red porgy and vermilion snapper in or from closed federal waters of the South Atlantic is subject to the applicable bag and possession limits. The sale or purchase of red porgy and vermilion snapper taken from closed federal waters is prohibited. The bag and possession limits and the prohibition on sale or purchase, apply in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a valid federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper. The vermilion snapper bag limit for captain and crew is zero.

FB13-100


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 22, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Commercial Red Drum Season Closes Tomorrow

MOREHEAD CITY — Commercial fishermen have likely exceeded the red drum harvest limit allocated for the winter harvest period, and the season will close Saturday.

Landings calculated just from electronically-submitted trip tickets showed fishermen have caught 144,258 pounds of the 150,000-pound harvest limit allocated for the Sept. 1 – April 30 harvest period. Paper trip tickets for September and October have not yet been entered into the database, and most of the November trip tickets have not yet been received.

“Since many fishermen report their landings through paper trip tickets, the red drum landings may be above the harvest limit for this period,” said Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.

Daniel issued a proclamation today closing the fishery as of 8 a.m. Saturday. For specifics on the closure see Proclamation FF-61-2013 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

Daniel said he will present options for dealing with any overages to the annual harvest limit at the February Marine Fisheries Commission meeting. 

The N. C. Red Drum Fishery Management Plan allows for an annual harvest limit (Sept. 1 through Aug. 31) of 250,000 pounds. Of that, 150,000 pounds is allocated to the period Sept. 1- April 30 and the remainder is allocated to the period of May 1-Aug. 31. Overages in overall 250,000 pound harvest limit must be deducted from the subsequent year’s annual harvest limit.

The red drum season will not reopen until at least May 1, when the summer harvest season begins.

For more information, contact Lee Paramore in the division’s Manteo office at 252-473-5734 or Lee.Paramore@ncdenr.gov.

nr-60-13


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 20, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Commission Adopts Changes
in Shad/Black Drum Fisheries

MOREHEAD CITY — Action taken by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission last week will bring regulatory changes in the American shad and black drum fisheries in 2014.

The commission voted to shorten the American shad season in the Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River system. The commission also voted to implement recreational and commercial size and possession limits for black drum.

Thresholds adopted last year in the N.C. American Shad Sustainable Fishery Plan have been met requiring commercial harvest reductions in the Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River system. The commission voted to address this requirement by shortening the commercial American shad season in the Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River system to March 18 through April 14. The commission also adopted a statement that if the thresholds continue to be met in 2014, it will consider instituting a moratorium on American shad in the Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River system.

There are no size and possession limits on black drum in North Carolina, but an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan requires states to implement black drum possession limits and a minimum size limit of at least 12 inches by Jan. 1, 2014 and at least 14 inches by Jan. 1, 2016. The commission voted to implement the following regulations:

  • 14- to 25-inch total length slot size limit (but allow one fish longer than 25 inches total length to be kept)
  • 10-fish recreational bag limit
  • 500-pound commercial trip limit

In other business, the commission:

  • Approved a draft supplement to the Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan for a 60-day public comment period, from Nov. 18-Jan. 18. The draft supplement provides the commission with alternatives to stricter commercial and recreational spotted seatrout fishing regulations set to begin in February.
  • Approved a draft amendment to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan for public comment after adding a recommendation that expands on a Division of Marine Fisheries’ recommendation to convene a stakeholder group to initiate industry testing of different bycatch reduction devices (which are gear modifications meant to reduce unwanted finfish bycatch in shrimp trawls). The commission added a 40 percent reduction target for the study and stipulated if this target is not met, further restrictions will be placed on the shrimp trawl fishery.
  • Initiated a focused amendment to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan to consider whether to continue a Dec. 1-31 closure in the large mesh gill net fishery, which was implemented to achieve needed harvest reductions in the southern flounder fishery. Through the amendment process, the Division of Marine Fisheries will determine if the necessary harvest reductions are now being met through temporary closures due to interactions with sea turtles, allowing the large mesh gill net fishery to open in December, when sea turtles are less abundant.
  • Approved draft amendments to the bay scallop and river herring fishery management plans for public comment.
  • Gave final approval to Amendment 2 to the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan and Amendment 3 to the Oyster Fishery Management Plan and adopted rules to implement the amendments.
  • Adopted a slate of other rules that include giving the division director proclamation authority to set size, recreational bag, commercial trip, gear, season and time restrictions on the taking of sheepshead if needed to maintain a sustainable harvest; and giving the division director proclamation authority to implement federal shellfish harvester and dealer requirements for the protection of public health.

nr-58-13

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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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