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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives Nov 2013

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Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 18, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Public Comment Sought on Spotted Seatrout Management Measures

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting public comment until Jan. 18. on a draft supplement to the Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan.

The draft supplement provides the Marine Fisheries Commission with alternatives to implementing stricter commercial and recreational spotted seatrout fishing regulations set to begin in February. It was developed to address a commission vote in August to keep the current commercial and recreational size, bag and trip limits for spotted seatrout — action that requires a change in the fishery management plan.

Under the current fishery management plan, the existing regulations are14-inch minimum size limit, four-fish recreational bag limit, 75-fish commercial trip limit and nr-58weekend commercial closure (except in Albemarle and Currituck sounds). In February, the daily recreational bag limit will drop to three fish per person, with a Dec. 15-Jan. 31 recreational closure, and the commercial trip limit will reduce to 25 fish, with no commercial closures if the draft supplement is not adopted.

The draft supplement examines the reasons for not implementing the stricter management measures and provides the commission with the option of maintaining the existing regulations.

The draft supplement also provides the commission the option of implementing less stringent regulations that keep the 14-inch minimum size limit but increases the recreational bag limit to a six-fish (with no more than two of the six fish greater than 24 inches). This option would eliminate the commercial trip limit but keeps the provision for no commercial possession or sale on weekends (except licensed finfish dealers).

Written comments should be sent to Chip Collier, 127 Cardinal Drive, Wilmington, N.C. 28405 or Chip.Collier@ncdenr.gov.

Draft Supplement A to the Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan can be found online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/fmps-under-development.

For more information, contact Collier at 910-796-7291 or Chip.Collier@ncdenr.gov.

nr-58-13


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 18, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Division of Marine Fisheries Licenses Offices to Temporarily Close

MOREHEAD CITY — N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries licenses offices in Washington and Elizabeth City will be closed Thursday, Nov. 21 for a division-wide staff meeting.

License offices in the Morehead City, Wilmington and Manteo offices will remain open.

All license sales offices will return to normal operating hours Friday, Nov. 22.

nr-57-13


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 8, 2013
Contact: NOAA
Phone: 727-824-5305

Commercial Harvest of Gag Closing to Vessels Fishing in the South Atlantic Federal Waters on November 13, 2013

The commercial harvest of gag in federal waters of the South Atlantic from North Carolina to Key West, Florida, will be closed, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time), November 13, 2013, through the remainder of the January 1 to December 31, 2013, fishing year. A seasonal closure is in place for gag from January 1 until May 1. Therefore, commercial harvest of gag will not reopen until May 1, 2014. The commercial annual catch limit for gag is 326,722 pounds.

The operator of a vessel that has been issued a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper and is landing gag for sale, must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such gag prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, November 13, 2013. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to sale or purchase of gag that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, November 13, 2013, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

Recreational Sector:
Recreational harvest of gag remains open. All harvest and possession of gag in or from closed federal waters of the South Atlantic is subject to the applicable bag and possession limits, and the sale or purchase of gag taken from closed federal waters is prohibited. In addition, those bag and possession limits, and the prohibition on sale or purchase, apply in state and federal waters of the South Atlantic for a vessel for which a valid federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued.

A seasonal closure is in place for gag from January 1 until May 1, therefore both recreational and commercial sectors will be closed from January 1 until May 1, 2014.

FB13-098


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 8, 2013
Contact: NOAA
Phone: 727-824-5305

Commercial Harvest of Blue Runner Closing to Vessels Fishing in the South Atlantic Federal Waters on November 14, 2013

The commercial harvest of blue runner in federal waters of the South Atlantic from North Carolina to Key West, Florida, will be closed, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time), November 14, 2013, through the remainder of the January 1 to December 31, 2013, fishing year. NOAA Fisheries anticipates the 2013 commercial annual catch limit of 177,506 pounds, whole weight, will be reached by that date.

The operator of a vessel with a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper landing blue runner for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such blue runner prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, November 14, 2013.

During the closure, all harvest and possession of blue runner in or from closed federal waters of the South Atlantic is subject to the applicable bag and possession limits, and the sale or purchase of blue runner taken from closed federal waters is prohibited. In addition, those bag and possession limits apply in state and federal waters of the South Atlantic for a vessel with a valid federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper.

FB13-097

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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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