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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives Oct 2012

Marine Fisheries

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Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021
Release: Immediate
Date: Oct. 11, 2012

Marine Fisheries Commission Seeks River Herring Advisers

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is looking for commercial and recreational fishermen and scientists to serve on the River Herring Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee.

The committee will assist the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries in updating the River Herring Fishery Management Plan. The commission uses fishery management plans as guides for implementing regulations and other management measures.

To qualify to serve on a committee, an individual may not have had a significant fisheries violation within the past three years.

Individuals interested in serving as an adviser should be willing to attend meetings at least once a month and actively participate in the committee process, which includes reviewing scientific documents and issuing papers to make recommendations on management strategies. Advisers will be reimbursed for travel and other expenses incurred in relation to their official duties.

Applications are available online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-advisory-committees or at Division of Marine Fisheries’ offices or by calling 252-808-8022 or 800-682-2632. Applications should be returned by Nov. 5 to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557, Attention: Lauren Morris or Lauren.Morris@ncdenr.gov.

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Contact: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Release: Immediate
Date: Oct. 12, 2012

New Commercial Fishing Safety Requirement to Take Effect Next Tuesday, October 16, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Coast Guard urges commercial fishing vessel owners and operators to take advantage of voluntary dockside safety examinations prior to the enforcement of a new requirement Tuesday. 

The new requirement mandates that all commercial fishing, fish tender and fish processing vessels that operate or transit more than three nautical miles offshore demonstrate full compliance with all existing commercial fishing vessel safety regulations during a dockside safety examination.

To demonstrate compliance with this new requirement, commercial fishing vessel owners and operators are encouraged to contact Coast Guard fishing vessel safety examiners to schedule an exam and obtain a commercial fishing vessel safety decal. Additionally, fishing vessel owners and operators are encouraged to use the interactive Commercial Fishing Vessel Checklist Generator to find out what equipment is required for issue of the decal. The checklist generator is available at http://www.uscg.mil/d13/cfvs/DocksideExams/vFinal.swf

The examination requirement is one of several new mandates established by the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. The act requires a mandatory safety examination for fishing vessels that operate beyond three nautical miles of the baseline regardless of whether the vessel is state-registered or federally documented. More information about this change and methods for achieving compliance can be viewed at www.fishsafe.info.

For additional information or to schedule a vessel examination, please contact the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Office at 904-564-7664 or 904-564-7665.

This announcement is forwarded as a courtesy of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.


NOAA
Sustainable Fisheries
727-824-5305
October 10, 2012

Commercial Harvest of Shallow-Water Grouper Closing to Vessels Fishing
in the South Atlantic Federal Waters on October 20, 2012

The commercial harvest of shallow-water grouper in federal waters of the South Atlantic from N.C. to Key West, Fla., will be closed, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time), Oct. 20, 2012, through the remainder of the 2012 fishing year. A seasonal closure is in place for shallow-water grouper from January 1 until May 1. Therefore, commercial harvest of shallow-water grouper will not reopen until May 1, 2013.

The commercial annual catch limit for gag is 352,940 pounds. When the commercial annual catch limit for gag is met, NOAA Fisheries is required to close commercial harvest of all shallow-water grouper in the South Atlantic waters. Species included in the shallow-water grouper complex are gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, yellowmouth grouper, yellowfin grouper, graysby and coney.

The operator of a vessel that has been issued a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper and that is landing shallow-water grouper for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such shallow-water grouper prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, Oct. 20, 2012. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to sale or purchase of shallow-water grouper that were harvested, landed ashore and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, Oct. 20, 2012, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

Recreational Sector:
The recreational sector will remain open until Jan. 1, 2013. All harvest and possession of shallow-water grouper 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 shallow-water grouper 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 shallow-water grouper from Jan. 1 until May 1, therefore both recreational and commercial sectors will be closed from Jan. 1 until May 1, 2013.

For additional information please visit the Gag and Shallow Water Grouper Commercial Closure Frequently Asked Questions.

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