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Marine Fisheries - News Release Archives Sept 2013

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Release: Immediate
Date: Sept. 13, 2013
Contact: : Ladd Bayliss
Phone: 252-473-1607
Email: laddb@nccoast.org

Commercial Fishermen Needed to Remove Marine Debris

MANTEO - The N. C. Coastal Federation is accepting applications for fishermen to help get marine debris out of the water this winter.

In January 2014, the federation and the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will begin a pilot project to remove abandoned fishing gear from northeastern North Carolina waters. With a grant from NOAA and North Carolina Sea Grant, commercial watermen will be employed to help N.C. Marine Patrol during the period when the wire mesh crab pots are supposed to be out of the water, typically from Jan. 15-Feb. 7. This project is intended to improve habitat and water quality and support commercial watermen in northeastern North Carolina.

The collection will take place from the Currituck Sound southward to Oregon Inlet, including parts of the Albemarle Sound. Local fishermen with knowledge of these waters will be given preference. Side-scan sonar will be used on a limited number of boats to detect abandoned gear underwater.

To qualify, fishermen must have filed at least one commercial landing trip ticket with the division's Trip Ticket Program within the past year. Fishermen will receive $300 per day, and their mates will receive $100 per day. Three days of work are guaranteed with acceptance to the program. About 12 fishermen will be accepted, and volunteers are also needed.

Applications are due on Oct. 15. Participants will be notified of acceptance by Nov. 1.

For more information and an application, contact Ladd Bayliss at 252-473-1607 or laddb@nccoast.org.


Release: Immediate
Date: Sept. 12, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Anglers Will Not Be Required to Report Sea Turtle Interactions

MOREHEAD CITY – The National Marine Fisheries Service has clarified who will be required to report interactions with sea turtles under an incidental take permit received by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries this week.

“The reporting requirement only applies to commercial and recreational gill netters,” said Louis Daniel, director of the Division of Marine Fisheries.

The division earlier reported that the requirement applied to all commercial and recreational gears.

Any gill net fisherman, using large or small mesh gill nets, must report any incidental capture of a sea turtle to the division at 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632.

The incidental take permit for sea turtles in the estuarine large and small mesh gill net fisheries authorizes limited incidental takes of sea turtles in these fisheries.

The permit will allow the division to reopen many waters of the state that have been closed to large-mesh gill nets since July. However, the division is still waiting to reopen these waters due to the continued presence of sea turtles.

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Release: Immediate
Date: Sept. 11, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Division of Marine Fisheries Receives Sea Turtle Permit for
Gill Net Fisheries

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries today signed an agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service that implements a statewide incidental take permit for sea turtles in the estuarine large and small mesh gill net fisheries.

The permit authorizes the limited take of sea turtles in these fisheries and will allow the state to reopen some waters to gill net fishing that have been closed since July.

“This is the result of a lot of hard work by dedicated division staff,” said Louis Daniel, director of the Division of Marine Fisheries. “The flounder gill net fishery is an important economic factor in Eastern North Carolina, and this permit will allow it to continue on a limited basis while protecting threatened and endangered sea turtles.”

The division is considering when to reopen different waters based on the presence of sea turtles, because the number of allowed takes in some areas is low, Daniel said.

“A lot of these waters are going to close with one interaction,” Daniel said.

Also, the number of allowed takes for each area is for the entire period of Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 each year, so if an area must close, it closes the entire year.

The permit 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.

In addition, the area previously known as the Pamlico Sound Gill Net Restricted Area now falls under the same soak times, gear requirements and observer requirements as other areas.

Daniel stressed the importance of fishermen complying with these regulations, including allowing observer coverage.

“If we do not meet the required percentage of observer coverage, the National Marine Fisheries Service can revoke this permit, which would close the fishery,” Daniel said.

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

“If you hook one as a recreational fisherman, you need to call it in,” Daniel said.

The permit and implementing agreement can be found on the division website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/ under Hot Topics.

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

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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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