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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - Nov 2014

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News Release Archives - November 2014


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 24, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Commission Approves Preferred Management Options
for Striped Mullet Fishery

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission took steps towards conservation of the striped mullet fishery at its business meeting last week.

The commission chose its preferred management options for a draft amendment to the state’s Striped Mullet Fishery Management Plan that include increasing the target fishing mortality reference point in recognition of striped mullet’s importance as prey species to many important finfish species.

The draft amendment also proposes prohibiting runaround, drift or other non-stationary gill nets from blocking more than two-thirds of a waterway or interfering with navigation (similar to the current rule for fixed or stationary gill nets).

Additionally, the amendment proposes removing the gill net attendance requirement from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30 in the Newport River Trawl Nets Prohibited Area while leaving it subject to an attendance requirement from May 1 through Sept. 30.

The draft amendment now goes for review by the secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and by the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations.

In other business, the commission voted to:

  • Approved two grants from its Conservation Fund:

- One grant for $70,598 was to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries to form an industry workgroup and provide for 30 sea days of testing if the commercial fishing industry pays for an additional 30 sea days of testing for a total of 60 sea days. The commercial fishing industry funding may be an in-kind match of fuel, use of vessels, etc. Testing of alternative gears to reduce bycatch in shrimp trawls is one of the management options selected by the commission in the draft Amendment 1 to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan.

- The other grant for $11,550 was to the division for an outreach and education campaign to promote the use of circle hooks when fishing with natural bait. The campaign will include videos and a brochure (with samples of circle hooks) that focus on proper fishing techniques to prevent release mortality.

  • Forward the names of Anna Beckwith, Bernie McCants and Bob Lorenz to the governor as nominations for the at-large seat on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
  • Forward the names of Preston Pate, Sara Winslow and Roger Rulifson to the governor as nominations for the at-large seat on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
  • Approve strategic habitat area nominations for Region 3 (the White Oak system, from Ocracoke Inlet to Stump Sound) for inclusion in the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan. Strategic habitat areas are a subset of coastal waters that collectively contain diverse, high quality fish habitats that have been identified to provide exceptional habitat function to regionally important species, or are at risk due to rarity, vulnerability or an imminent threat.

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

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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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