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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives - Sept. 2011

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives - Sept. 2011


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: (252) 726-7021
Date: Sept. 28,  2011

Local Input Sought on Proposed Strategic Habitat Areas in Pamlico Sound

MOREHEAD CITY - The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will hold a public workshop to seek local input on proposed strategic habitat area nominations in the Pamlico Sound system. The workshop will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at the N.C. Department of Natural Resources Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.

Strategic habitat areas are specific locations of individual fish habitats or systems of habitats that provide exceptional habitat functions or are particularly at risk due to imminent threats, vulnerability, or rarity. The N.C. Coastal Habitat Protection Plan recommends identifying strategic habitat areas to prioritize aquatic areas for protection, enhancement and restoration.

The division is seeking local expertise on the condition of proposed strategic habitat areas, as well as other areas within the region. Division staff will give a presentation on proposed strategic habitat areas and ask for public input.

Once strategic habitat areas are selected, resource managers from various agencies will develop a management plan of non regulatory conservation measures to address the specific concerns of each strategic habitat area.

For more information, contact Anne Deaton, division Habitat Protection section chief, at 1-800-248-4536, 910-796-7315 or Anne.Deaton@ncdenr.gov A meeting agenda is attached.


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: (252) 726-7021
Date: Sept. 23,  2011

Fisheries Newsletter Focuses on Latest Coastal Habitat Plan

MOREHEAD CITY – When it comes to managing for healthy fish populations, you can’t ignore habitat issues.

The latest edition of Fish Eye News focuses on some of these concerns with articles that discuss some of the new priorities for implementation of the latest Coastal Habitat Protection Plan, including the need to remove fish migration barriers such as dams and the need for further research into how medications and other chemicals impact fish reproduction capabilities.

Also in this edition is an article highlighting the state’s Recreational Water Quality Program, which is now housed under the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.

Fish Eye News is a web-based newsletter issued by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Public Affairs Section. It is posted on the agency’s website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/fish-eye-news-0811.

The intent of Fish Eye News is to draw attention to issues affecting marine fisheries in North Carolina and promote a better understanding of agency functions. Publications may reprint all or part of the articles.

For more information, contact Patricia Smith, the division’s public information officer, at (252) 808-8025 or Tricia.Smith@ncdenr.gov.

nr-49-2011


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: (252) 726-7021
Date: Sept. 22,  2011

Seasonal Closure Begins Monday for Recreational
Black Sea Bass Fishery North of Cape Hatteras

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is reminding fishermen that the recreational black sea bass fishery will close Monday in all coastal waters north of Cape Hatteras.

The closure will remain in effect until Oct. 31.

The closure complies with management measures approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in April after the coast-wide recreational fishery exceeded the recreational allocation for 2010.

Each state was required to develop regulations to reduce the recreational black sea bass harvest in 2011 by 37 percent. Management measures approved for North Carolina’s recreational black sea bass fishery north of Cape Hatteras were a 12.5-inch minimum size limit, 25-fish bag limit, and open seasons from July 1 to Sept. 25 and Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.

For more information, contact division biologist Chris Batsavage at (252) 808-8088 or Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov.

nr-48-2011


FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Bruger or Catherine.Bruger@noaa.gov
September 20, 2011
727-824-5305, FAX 727-824-5308

Commercial Harvest of Vermilion Snapper Closes in the
South Atlantic Federal Waters on September 30, 2011

Commercial harvest of vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic federal waters is closed, effective 12:01 a.m., (local time) September 30, 2011, through 12:01 a.m., January 1, 2012. NOAA Fisheries Service has determined the 2011 July through December commercial quota of 302,523 pounds of vermilion snapper will be reached by this date. During the closure period, no person aboard a vessel for which a commercial permit for snapper-grouper has been issued may commercially fish for vermilion snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic.

During the quota closure, South Atlantic snapper-grouper commercial permit holders can retain the recreational bag limit of 5 fish, but may not sell those fish. During the November 2011 through March 2012 recreational closure of vermilion snapper the recreational harvest or possession of vermilion snapper is prohibited.

In addition, for a person on board a vessel for which a federal South Atlantic snapper-grouper commercial permit has been issued, these provisions of the closure for vermilion snapper would apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or federal waters.

Closing commercial fishing for vermilion snapper in the South Atlantic complies with regulations implementing the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region and is necessary to protect the snapper-grouper resource.

The operator of a vessel with vermilion snapper in excess of the bag or possession limit aboard must have landed such vermilion snapper prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, September 30, 2011, and all sale or purchase of vermilion snapper must occur prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, September 30, 2011. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to sale or purchase of vermilion snapper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, September 30, 2011, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

If you would like to receive these fishery bulletins via email as soon as they are published, please contact us at SERO.Communications.Comments@noaa.gov.

This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the existing regulations. Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the regulations as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.

National Marine Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office, F/SER25
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Official Business
FB11-070


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: (252) 726-7021
Date: Sept. 15,  2011

Marine Fisheries Commission Votes on Striped Bass, Other Issues

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted on striped bass and other issues at its meeting in Raleigh last week.

Among actions, the commission adopted a proposal for a limited entry system for the commercial Atlantic Ocean striped bass fishery, possibly for the 2012-2013 fishing season. The proposal adds hook-and-line as an allowable commercial gear in the fishery.

Approval of this proposal effectively directs the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries to develop a limited entry system for the fishery. The division will bring specifics of a proposal before commission for final approval in the coming months.

For the interim, the commission approved a short-term strategy to manage the commercial ocean striped bass fishery with seasons and trip limits under the same gear permit system used in previous years.

Commercial fishermen wishing to participate in the ocean striped bass fishery this winter need to purchase an Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Gear Permit. There will not be a deadline on obtaining this permit this year. The permit costs $10 and is available at any N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries license office. Fisherman can also call the division to request a mail-in application.

At the time of permit application, the person holding the commercial fishing license or license assignment must declare what type of gear he intends to use: gill net, trawl or beach seine. Gear declarations will be binding on the permit holder for three consecutive years or until the limited entry permit system begins.

Beach seine season will open Dec. 1 with a 150-fish-per-day-per-license harvest limit and a four-man-per-license maximum crew limit. The beach seine season will close once the quota is caught.

Gill net season will open Jan. 1 with a 50-fish-per-day-per-vessel harvest limit. The gill net season will stay open until the quota is caught.

Trawl net season will begin immediately after the gill net season closes, but no later than Jan. 15 (whichever comes first). Trawl permit holders will be under a 100-fish-per-vessel-per-day harvest limit. During the open season trawl permit holders may only possess ocean striped bass on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Trawl net permit holders will be allowed a 15-fish-per day-per vessel bycatch from Dec. 1 until the regular trawl net season opens.

In order to avoid waste, fishermen who hold either of the three gear permit will be allowed to transfer fish they catch over the daily harvest limit to other striped bass permit holders. If a trawl vessel needs to return to the dock with more than its daily trip limit for any circumstance, Marine Patrol must be notified before docking. Any overage or transfer at the dock will be overseen by a Marine Patrol officer.
 
Transferred fish will be counted against the quota.

In the event of a fish spill similar to this past winter, the commission authorized division Director Louis Daniel to deduct any quantifiable waste in the commercial Atlantic Ocean striped bass fishery from the commercial quota.

In other action, the commission voted to:

  • Open the Pamlico Sound Gill Net Restricted Area Sept. 19 seven days a week under the same regulations and permit requirements as previous years. However, if there is an interaction with a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, fishing days will reduce to six. If there is a second interaction with a live Kemp’s ridley, the number of fishing days will reduce to five. The commission also authorized division Director Daniel to implement stricter regulations, if needed. The Pamlico Sound Gill Net Restricted Area must close to all large-mesh gill nets for the remainder of the fall fishing season if the fishery has interactions with three live or two dead Kemp’s ridley sea turtles.
     
  • Open southern Core Sound, Back Sound, The Straits and North River to set large-mesh gill nets Oct. 1 under regulations established by a sea turtle lawsuit settlement. Since this settlement only allows this fishery on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, the effective opening date will be Oct. 3.
     
  • Send a draft Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan out for public comment on options for ending overfishing within two years of final adoption of the plan.
     
  • Send Amendment 1 to the Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan out for public comment.

In a special guest appearance, N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall administered the oath of office to three new commission members. Gov. Bev Perdue appointed Joe Shute, Chris Elkins and Allyn Powell to the board in August. Shute fills a seat reserved for someone in the recreational fishing industry. Elkins fills a seat reserved for a recreational fisherman. Powell fills a seat reserved for a fisheries scientist. A high-resolution photograph of this ceremony can be downloaded at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/taking-the-oath.

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