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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

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

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Contact: NOAA Fisheries Service
Phone: 727-824-5305
Release: Immediate
Date: Oct. 2, 2012

Commercial Harvest of Black Sea Bass Closing to Vessels Fishing in the
South Atlantic Federal Waters on October 8, 2012

The commercial harvest of black sea bass in federal waters of the South Atlantic from 35°15.19' N. lat. (the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, North Carolina) to Key West, Florida, will be closed, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time), October 8, 2012, through 12:01 a.m. June 1, 2013. NOAA Fisheries has determined the 2012-2013 commercial annual catch limit of 309,000 pounds will be reached by that date.

The operator of a vessel that has been issued a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper and that is landing black sea bass for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such black sea bass prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 8, 2012. All black sea bass pots must be removed from South Atlantic federal waters subject to the closure prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 8, 2012.

During the closure, all harvest and possession of black sea bass 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 black sea bass 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.

The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to sale or purchase of black sea bass that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, October 8, 2012, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

FB12-072


Contact: Tina Berger
Phone: 703-842-0740
Release: Immediate
Date: Oct. 1, 2012

States Schedule Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden Draft Amendment 2

Arlington, Va. – Atlantic coastal states from Maine through North Carolina have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden. The dates, times, and locations of the scheduled meetings follow.

Maine Department of Marine Resources
October 17, 2012; 5 p.m.
Casco Bay Lines Conference Room 56 Commercial Street Portland, Me. 
Contact: Terry Stockwell at 207-624-6553  

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
October 16, 2012; 7 p.m.
DEEP Marine Headquarters Boating Education Center 333 Ferry Road Old Lyme, Connecticut
Contact: David Simpson 860-434-6043 

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
October 15, 2012; 7 p.m.
Urban Forestry Center 45 Elwyn Road Portsmouth,
N.H. 
Contact: Doug Grout at 603-868-1095 

October 18, 2012; 3 p.m.
Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science & Technology Center 60 St. Stevens Road Bridgeport, Connecticut
Contact: David Simpson 860-434-6043 

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
October 16, 2012; 5:30 p.m.
Joseph Bourne Public Library 19 Sandwich Road Bourne, Mass. 
Contact: David Pierce at 617-626-1532 

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 
November 1, 2012; 6:30 p.m.
 Marine Resources Headquarters 205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1 East Setauket, N.Y. 
Contact: Steve Heins at 631-444-0430 

Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife
November 1, 2012; 6 p.m.
University of Rhode Island Bay Campus Corless Auditorium South Ferry Road Narragansett R.I. 
Contact: Jason McNamee at 401-423-1943 

New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife
November 1, 2012; 7 p.m. Atlantic County Library, Galloway Township 306 East Jimmie Leeds Road Galloway, N.J. 
Contact: Peter Himchak at 609-748-2020  

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control 
October 29, 2012; 7 p.m.
DNREC Auditorium 89 Kings Highway Dover, Del. 
Contact: John Clark at 302.739.9914  

Virginia Marine Resources Commission
October 15, 2012; 6 p.m.
VMRC Headquarters, 4th Floor 2600 Washington Avenue Newport News, Va. 
Contact: Rob O’Reilly at 757-247-2247  

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
October 30, 2012; 6 – 9 p.m.
Easton Armory 7111 Ocean Gateway (Route 50) Easton, Md.
Contact: Lynn Fegley at 410.260.8285  

October 18, 2012; 6 – 9 p.m.
Lancaster Middle School Auditorium 191 School Street Kilmarnock, Va. 
Contact: Rob O’Reilly at 757.247.2247  

November 1, 2012; 6 – 9 p.m.
Northeast Community Center 4075 Gordon Stinnett Avenue Chesapeake Beach, Md. 
Contact: Lynn Fegley at 410-260-8285   

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries
October 18, 2012; 6 p.m.
Central District Office Building 5285 Highway 70 West Morehead City, N.C. 28557 
Contact: Trish Murphey at 252-726-7021   

Potomac River Fisheries Commission
October 29, 2012; 6 p.m.
222 Taylor Street Colonial Beach, Va. 
Contact: AC Carpenter at 804-224-7148   

 

The Draft Amendment presents a suite of options to manage and monitor the stock in both the short and long-term. These include options to end overfishing; change the biomass reference points to match the fishing mortality reference points; and establish a specification process to set and allocate total allowable catch (TAC), including procedures to close the fishery when a certain percentage of the TAC has been projected to be landed. It presents accountability measures to address quota transfers, rollovers, and overage payback, as well as options to allow for a specified amount of the TAC to be set aside for small scale fisheries and episodic events. To address monitoring and data collection needs, the Draft Amendment also presents options for timely quota monitoring and the collection of biological data through catch sampling. 

The Draft Amendment responds to the findings of both the 2010 benchmark stock assessment and the 2012 stock assessment update that indicate the stock is experiencing overfishing but may or may not be overfished depending on the reference points chosen. The stock is not overfished based on the current reference points used in the most recent assessment. Given that the stock is experiencing overfishing, the Draft Amendment’s immediate goals are to take steps to end overfishing and manage Atlantic menhaden not only as a fishery but as a critical ecosystem component. However, uncertainties in the 2012 stock assessment update make it difficult to quantify the level of reductions needed to meet those goals. Therefore, the Draft Amendment includes a range of harvest reductions from 0 – 50% from current harvest levels. The broad range of potential harvest reductions and allocation scenarios enables the Board and the public to consider management options beyond the historical allocations and traditional quota setting approaches to best manage this fishery. The Technical Committee plans to address the issues with the stock assessment in the next benchmark assessment, currently planned for 2015.

Final action on the Amendment is anticipated to occur in December; information on that meeting will be announced once it has been finalized. Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Amendment either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. Draft Amendment 2 is available on the Commission website at www.asmfc.org under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at 703-842-0740. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. (EST) on November 16, 2012 and should be forwarded to Mike Waine, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703-842-0741 (FAX) or mwaine@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Amendment 2). For more information, please contact Mike Waine at mwaine@asmfc.org .

PR12-46

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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