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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - nr-03-12 MFC Meeting MHC

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021
Date: Feb. 10, 2012

Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting Set for Morehead City

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Feb. 22-24 at the Crystal Coast Civic Center, 3505 Arendell St. Morehead City.

The meeting is open to the public.

The commission is slated to consider recommendations from a Committee to Define a Commercial Fisherman.

The committee recommended changes in eligibility requirements for renewing a standard commercial fishing license for those with no documented landings. The committee also recommended developing an apprenticeship program as a qualification for obtaining a Standard Commercial Fishing License through the state’s eligibility pool and eliminating the $25 commercial shellfish license.

The commission is also expected to select its preferred management actions for Amendment 2 to the N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan. The draft plan will then be sent to the secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations for review and comment.

A 2011 Division of Marine Fisheries Blue Crab Stock Assessment determined that the stock is not overfished, but it is unknown if overfishing is occurring.

The draft amendment proposes adoption of adaptive management measures whereby stricter regulations would be implemented in the blue crab fishery if certain biological triggers are unfavorable for three consecutive years. These adaptive management measures use several biological surveys and sampling programs to determine the relative abundance of adult crabs in the population, the abundance of young crabs in the population, and various production indictors for the spawning stock each year.

Additionally, the commission will hear an update on the National Marine Fisheries Service decision to list Atlantic sturgeon as an endangered species and the possible impacts that could have to North Carolina fishermen.

The meeting begins with a public comment session at 6 p.m. Feb. 22. Anyone who wishes to speak to the commission on a fisheries-related matter may do so then or at the start of the business meeting Feb. 23. Due to time constraints, the commission chairman asks individuals to speak only once, either Feb. 22 or Feb. 23, but not during both public comment periods.

The business sessions of the meeting begin at 9 a.m. Feb. 23 and 8:30 a.m. Feb. 24.

The meeting agenda is attached. The full briefing book can be found on the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-agendas-briefingbooks-presentations.

For more information, contact Marine Fisheries Commission Liaison Nancy Fish at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.

nr-03-12

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • (252) 726-7021 or 1-800-682-2632

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