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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives Sept 2013

Marine Fisheries

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News Release Archives - September 2013


Release: Immediate
Date: Sept. 27, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Asks Pound Net Fishermen to More Vigilantly Check Their Nets

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is asking pound net fishermen to more vigilantly check their nets after an unusual number of sea turtles were caught in pound nets last week.

In addition, the division is asking the public to promptly report interactions they see between sea turtles and fishing gear.

A N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission weekly summary of sea turtle strandings and incidental captures for the week of Sept. 15-21 showed five fatal sea turtle interactions involving pound nets.

The division is asking pound net fishermen to check their nets every day until sea turtles leave the waters, so that any entangled sea turtle can be released or receive medical attention faster. Commercial fishermen should use National Marine Fisheries Service’s safe handing and release protocols (http://www.nero.noaa.gov/prot_res/stranding/SeaTurtleHandlingResuscitationv1.pdf), and report the interaction to the N.C. Marine Patrol at 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632.

The general public should immediately report any interactions between sea turtles and fishing gear they see to Marine Patrol at the above numbers. Immediately reporting interactions allows Marine Patrol to more quickly investigate and assist turtles that are alive. People should not try to free the sea turtles from the nets, because they might hurt themselves or further injure the turtle or damage someone else’s fishing gear.

The division will continue to monitor the waters and take further action, if needed, to protect the threatened and endangered sea turtles.

For more information, contact Chris Batsavage, the division’s Protected Resources Section chief, at 252-808-8009, 252-241-2995 or Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov.

nr-48-13


Release: Immediate
Date: Sept. 27, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Waters Reopen to Flounder Gill Nets

MOREHEAD CITY — Waters south of Oregon Inlet will reopen to set flounder gill nets Sept. 30.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director Louis Daniel issued proclamations yesterday that will reopen parts of Pamlico Sound, upper Core Sound and estuarine waters south of the N.C. 58 bridge that have been closed since July.

These waters will reopen under provisions of a newly-received sea turtle incidental take permit for gill nets, which carries the same restrictions on soak times and gear requirements and requirement for observer coverage as was previously implemented through a lawsuit settlement agreement between the state and the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.

The permit divides the estuarine waters of the state into seven different areas and authorizes an annual, per-species limit of incidental sea turtle takes in each area. These allowed takes are divided into two fishing gears: large-mesh and small-mesh gill nets.

While exempted from regulations in the lawsuit settlement agreement, there are observer coverage requirements and limits on sea turtle takes for the small-mesh gill net fishery in the incidental take permit.

In addition, the Pamlico Sound Gill Net Restricted Area now falls under the same soak times, gear requirements and observer requirements as other areas. A federal, seasonal deepwater large-mesh gill net closure in Pamlico Sound remains in place.

Under the permit, the fishing year begins Sept. 1 and ends Aug. 31, so if the level of allowed incidental takes is met by either gear for any sea turtle species in a particular water area, it will close that water area to the specific gill net gear until Aug. 31, 2014.

Another new requirement is that all commercial and recreational gill net fishermen must report any incidental capture of a sea turtle to the division at 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632. This includes both large-mesh and small-mesh gill nets.

For specific regulations, see Proclamations M-30-2013 and M-31-2013 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

For more information, contact Chris Batsavage, the division’s Protected Resources Section chief, at 252-808-8009 or Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov.

nr-47-13


Release: Immediate
Date: Sept. 24, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Commission Seeks Advisers

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is looking for commercial and recreational fishermen and scientists to advise them on various fisheries issues.

Two regional advisory committees – Northern and Southern – and three standing advisory committees –Finfish, Habitat and Water Quality, and Shellfish/Crustacean – review matters referred to them by the commission, such as draft fishery management plans. Then, they recommend management strategies. Committees may also bring issues pertaining to their region or subject matter to the commission’s attention.

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

The Marine Fisheries Commission chairman appoints members for three-year terms. Several terms will expire in January.

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

Adviser applications are available online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-advisory-committees, at the Division of Marine Fisheries’ offices or by calling 252-808-8022 or 800-682-2632. Applications should be returned by Nov. 1 to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557, Attention: Lauren Morris.

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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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