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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - Nov 2014

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 7, 2014
Contact: Nikhil Mehta
Phone: 727-824-5305

NOAA Fisheries Announces New Regulations
for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery in the South Atlantic

Small Entity Compliance Guide

The final rule for Regulatory Amendment 14 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region published on November 7, 2014 (79 FR 66316). Regulations will be effective on December 8, 2014.

Regulatory Amendment 14 will:

  • Change the current fishing year for both commercial and recreational sectors of greater amberjack from May 1 through April 30, to March 1 through the end of February.
  • Change the current commercial fishing year for black sea bass from June 1 through May 31, to January 1 through December 31.
  • Change the current recreational fishing year for black sea bass from June 1 through May 31, to April 1 through March 31.
  • Specify a 300 pound gutted weight commercial trip limit for black sea bass using hook-and-line gear from January 1 to April 30. From May 1 to December 31, the trip limit is 1,000 pounds gutted weight for hook-and-line gear.
    — Note: Black sea bass pots are prohibited from November 1 through April 30. From May 1 to October 31, the trip limit for black sea bass caught with pots is 1,000 pounds gutted weight.
  • Revise the black sea bass recreational accountability measure to have NOAA Fisheries announce the length of the recreational season for black sea bass annually in the Federal Register.
  • Reduce the commercial trip limit for gag from the current 1,000 pounds gutted weight, to 500 pounds gutted weight, when 75 percent of the gag commercial quota is reached.
  • Implement an in-season closure for vermillion snapper if the recreational catch limit is reached, and an overage adjustment (payback) in the event that the recreational catch limit is exceeded.

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

More Information

For more information on the final rule for Regulatory Amendment 14, please follow this link to the Frequently Asked Questions: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/2014/reg_am14/index.html

FB14-081


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 7, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting Set for Nov. 19-21 in Kitty Hawk

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Nov. 19-21 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 5353 N. Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk.

Public comment periods will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 19 and at 9 a.m. Nov. 20. The chairman will allow each speaker to comment for three minutes. Due to time constraints, those making comments will be asked to speak only once, either at the Nov. 19 or Nov. 20 session, but not during both public comment periods.
The Wednesday night public comment period will begin with an informal question and answer session at 6 p.m. 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. Nov. 14. 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. Nov. 20 and at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 21.

The commission will offer a live webcast of the meeting. Up to 200 participants may listen to audio and view presentations in real-time on a first-come, first-served basis. Directions for participating in the webcast, including information on system requirements and testing, can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/listen-online.

The commission is scheduled to select its preferred management options for a draft amendment to the state’s Striped Mullet Fishery Management Plan; approve strategic habitat area nominations for Region 3 for inclusion in the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan; select nominees for the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic fishery management councils; and consider two proposals for Conservation Fund grants.

The commission will also hear presentations on a proposed for-hire logbook reporting requirement and on recreational discard mortality of red drum and spotted seatrout.

A meeting agenda and a full briefing book can be found on the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries 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-62-2014


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 4, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

State Coastal Waters Return to Normal Fall Gill Net Fishing Status

MOREHEAD CITY — Waters in the northern and central coastal areas of the state will reopen to anchored, large mesh gill nets this week, which returns all coastal waters in the state to their normal fall fishing status.

Waters in the eastern Pamlico Sound, northern Core Sound, part of Management Unit B under the state’s Sea Turtle Incidental Take Permit, will reopen to this fishing gear at 4:09 p.m. Thursday. The opening applies to areas of Core Sound north of the Club House on Core Banks and shallow water areas of Pamlico Sound behind Portsmouth, Ocracoke and Hatteras islands. The areas were closed Oct. 26 due to interactions with sea turtles.

Waters in eastern Albemarle, Roanoke, Croatan and southern Currituck sounds, part of Management Unit A under the Sea Turtle Incidental Take Permit, will reopen to anchored, large mesh gill nets at 4 p.m. Thursday. The opening applies to areas in the Roanoke and Croatan sounds south of the U.S. 64/U.S. 264 bridges (the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge and the Washington Baum Bridge), which have been closed since Sept. 29, and areas between the N.C. 158 bridge (Wright Memorial Bridge) and the U.S. 64/U.S. 264 bridges, which have been closed since Oct. 3.

The waters are reopening because of cooling water temperatures and reports of reduced turtle sightings; however, if more incidental captures of sea turtles are observed, the areas could close through next summer.

For more specifics on the gill net regulations, see Proclamations M-40-2014 and M-41-2014 at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

North Carolina’s estuarine gill net fishery is managed under incidental take permits for sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon, issued to the state by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The permits require observer coverage. The permits authorize limited takes of these species, listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, as part of conservation plans that divide the state’s internal coastal waters into six management units.

These units are closely monitored for interactions with sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon. An annual number of allowed interactions with each species is assigned to each gear type in each management unit. If the number of interactions is approached, the management unit must close for the remainder of the season or year.

For more information, contact Chris Batsavage, the division’s Protected Resources Section chief, at 252-808-8009 or 252-241-2995 or Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov.

nr-61-2014


Release: Immediate
Date: Nov. 3, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

State Certifies New Skipjack Tuna Record

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has certified a new skipjack tuna state record.

Matthew Charles Kelly of Chesapeake, Va., reeled in the 32-pound fish Aug. 31 while fishing in the Gulf Stream south of Hatteras Inlet.

The previous state record skipjack tuna weighed 22 pounds, 3 ounces, and was caught off Wrightsville Beach in 1979. The world record skipjack tuna weighed 45 pounds, 4 ounces and was caught off Baja California, Mexico in 1996.

The fish was caught on a GLoomis Pelagic Series rod with a Shimano Torsa 30 reel using a Zuker Feather Lure on 30-pound test line. It measured 34 inches from the tip of the nose to the tip of the fork in the tail and had a 24-inch girth.

For more information, contact Carole Willis, with the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament, at 252-808-8081 or carole.y.willis@ncdenr.gov.

Download a photo of Kelly and his catch at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/10-2014-record-skipjack-photo.

nr-60-2014

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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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