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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - Sep 2014

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News Release Archives - September 2014


Release: Immediate
Date: Sept. 25, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Division of Marine Fisheries Seeks Comments on Striped Mullet,
Strategic Habitat Areas

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will accept comments on a draft amendment to the Striped Mullet Fishery Management Plan and on proposed strategic habitat area nominations for Region 3 (White Oak River Basin) at a series of meetings in October.

The meetings will be held in conjunction with Marine Fisheries Commission advisory committee meetings. Each scheduled advisory committee will review the strategic habitat area nominations. Each of the committees, except for the Shellfish/Crustacean Advisory Committee, will review the draft amendment to the Striped Mullet Fishery Management Plan. The meetings are scheduled for:

Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. (See agenda)
Southern Regional Advisory Committee
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Wilmington Regional Office
127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington
Contact: Mike Marshall
Phone: 252-808-8077
Email: Mike.Marshall@ncdenr.gov
Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. (See agenda)
Finfish Advisory Committee
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
Central District Office
5285 U.S. 70 West, Morehead City
Contact: Lee Paramore
Phone: 252-473-5734
Email: Lee.Paramore@ncdenr.gov
Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. (See agenda)
Northern Regional Advisory Committee
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Washington Regional Office
943 Washington Square Mall, Washington
Contact: Katy West
Phone: 252-946-6481
Email: Katy.West@ncdenr.gov
Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. (See agenda)
Shellfish/Crustacean Advisory Committee
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Washington Regional Office
943 Washington Square Mall, Washington
Contact: Craig Hardy
Phone: 252-808-8046
Email: Craig.Hardy@ncdenr.gov
Oct. 13 at 1:30 p.m. (See agenda)
Habitat and Water Quality Advisory Committee
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Washington Regional Office
943 Washington Square Mall, Washington
Contact: Anne Deaton
Phone: 910-796-7215
Email: Anne.Deaton@ncdenr.gov
 

The draft amendment to the Striped Mullet Fishery Management Plan proposes an increase in 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); and 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. To view the draft amendment to the Striped Mullet Fishery Management Plan, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/fmps-under-development.

Strategic habitat areas are a subset of coastal waters. The areas 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. The N.C. Coastal Habitat Protection Plan recommended identifying strategic habitat areas to prioritize aquatic habitats for protection, enhancement and restoration. Strategic habitat areas in the White Oak system, from Ocracoke Inlet to Stump Sound, were identified through a scientifically-based process. No regulatory changes are proposed for strategic habitat areas. Resource managers from various agencies will work together to develop non regulatory conservation measures to address the specific concerns for each strategic habitat area. View a map of proposed strategic habitat areas (outlined in blue) at: http://nc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Viewer/index.html?appid=f0f2fcd4fdb14d07899277875c81d4ef.

Division staff will also seek public input on priority habitat concerns to address in the 2015 Coastal Habitat Protection Plan.

Written comments on the draft amendment to the Striped Mullet plan may be sent to Jason Rock or Casey Knight, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington or Jason.Rock@ncdenr.gov and Casey.Knight@ncdenr.gov. For questions, contact Rock or Knight at 252-946-6481.

Written comments on the proposed strategic habitat areas for Region 3 can be sent to Anne Deaton, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, 127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington or to Anne.Deaton@ncdenr.gov. For questions, contact Deaton at 910-796-7311.

nr-51-2014


Release: Immediate
Date: Sept. 25, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Division of Marine Fisheries Staff Saddened by
Death of Marine Fisheries Commission Chairman

MOREHEAD CITY — The staff at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries was saddened to hear of the death of N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Chairman Paul Rose.

Rose, 52, of Moyock, died yesterday of an apparent heart attack.

Rose was a commercial crabber, pound netter and fish dealer who ran Paul Rose Seafood.

“He was very proud of his service as the chairman of the commission and he took the job very seriously,” said Louis Daniel, director of the Division of Marine Fisheries. “He respected the division and defended it on decisions that were made. He was fair; he was prepared; he was well-respected and he will be greatly missed by division staff.”

Rose was appointed to the commission July 30, 2013 by Governor Pat McCrory. Prior to his appointment, he served on several fisheries advisory committees, including the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee.

Commission vice-chairman Anna Beckwith will serve as chairman until the governor appoints a replacement.

nr-50-2014


Release: Immediate
Date: Sept. 23, 2014
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Coastal Waters in Southern Area of State to Close to
Anchored, Large-Mesh Gill Nets

MOREHEAD CITY — Coastal waters in the southern area of the state will close to anchored, large-mesh gill nets at 6 p.m. Thursday.

This action is being taken to avoid a mandatory closure that would last through next summer.

The closure impacts waters between the N.C. 58 bridge to Emerald Isle and the South Carolina state line. These waters reopened to anchored, large-mesh gill net fishing Monday evening, and in the first night of fishing two live Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were captured.

Under the state’s Sea Turtle Incidental Take Permit, if one more Kemp’s ridley take is observed, these waters must close until Sept. 1, 2015. Any interactions with Kemp’s ridleys in the next two days will result in this mandatory closure.

The waters will not reopen for at least two weeks — if at all — to allow sea turtles to leave the area.

For more specifics on open and closed areas, see Proclamation M-31-2014 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-49-2014

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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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