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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - Oct 2014

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News Release Archives - October 2014


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

Coastal Waters in Southern Area of State Reopen to Large-Mesh Gill Nets

MOREHEAD CITY — Coastal waters in the southern area of the state will reopen to anchored, large-mesh gill nets  Sunday afternoon.

The reopening takes place at 4:12 p.m. and impacts waters between the N.C. 58 bridge to Emerald Isle and the South Carolina state line, which is Management Area E under the state’s Sea Turtle Incidental Take Permit.

State fisheries officials closed these waters to anchored, large-mesh gill net fishing Sept. 25 due to interactions with sea turtles.

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 area could close through next summer.

For more specifics on open and closed areas, see Proclamations M-39-2014 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-59-2014


Release: Immediate
Date: Oct. 31, 2014
Contact: Susan Gerhart
Phone: 727-824-5305

NOAA Fisheries Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Changes to King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel,
NOAA Fisheries Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Changes to King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel and Cobia Regulations

Comment period ends December 16, 2014

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on Amendment 20B to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Region. NOAA Fisheries is also seeking public comment on the proposed rule to implement the management measures contained in the amendment. Amendment 20B proposes to:

  • Eliminate the 500-pound trip limit that is effective when 75 percent of the respective quotas are landed for king mackerel in the Florida west coast Northern and Southern Subzones.
  • Change the fishing year for king mackerel in the Florida west coast Northern Subzone to October-September. Currently, the fishing year is July-June.
  • Allow transit of vessels with king mackerel through areas closed to king mackerel fishing, if gear is appropriately stowed.
  • Create Northern and Southern Zones for Atlantic migratory group king and Spanish mackerel, each with separate quotas. NOAA Fisheries would close each zone when the respective quota is met or expected to be met.
  • Make administrative changes to the procedure for modifying management measures.
  • Increase annual catch limits and catch targets for cobia. Create an East Coast Zone for cobia to adjust for differences between the Councils' jurisdictional areas and the biological distribution of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic stocks. This zone would have its own quota, which NOAA Fisheries would close when the quota is met or expected to be met.

The Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils have submitted Amendment 20B to NOAA Fisheries for review, approval, and implementation. The Notice of Availability for public comment on this amendment published in the Federal Register on October 17, 2014, and the proposed rule published on October 31, 2014. Comments will be accepted through December 16, 2014. We will address all comments specifically directed to either the amendment or the proposed rule in the final rule.For more information on Amendment 20B, please visit the NOAA Southeast Fisheries Web site at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/cmp/2014/am20b/index.html. An electronic copy of the amendment is available at that Web site or from the e-Rule Making Portal www.regulation.gov

How to Submit Comments
NOAA Fisheries must receive comments on these documents no later than December 16, 2014. You may submit comments on the amendment or the proposed rule, identified by "NOAA-NMFS-2013-0176", by one of the following methods:

  • Go to the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.
    http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0176, click the "Comment Now!" icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments (enter "N/A" in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). You can also attach additional files (up to 10MB) in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
  • Mail written comments to Susan Gerhart, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on the regulations.gov website without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible.

FB14-080

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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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