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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - SAFMC BSB

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Date: May 31, 2013
Contact: Kim Iverson
Phone: 843-571-4366
Email: kim.iverson@safmc.net

Reminder: Black Sea Bass Season Opens June 1st

No changes to current regulations

The black sea bass fishery opens for both commercial and recreational fishermen in South Atlantic federal waters on June 1, 2013. Fishermen are reminded that the current regulations are:

Recreational:
Bag Limit - 5 fish per person per day
Minimum Size Limit - 13" Total Length

Commercial:
Trip Limit - 1,000 Pounds (gutted weight)
Minimum Size Limit - 11" Total Length
Permit Requirements - Federal Commercial Snapper Grouper Permit and Black Sea Bass Pot Endorsements required. Additional requirements are in place for the pot fishery. Visit www.safmc.net for details.

All Fishermen:
Circle Hooks Required - The use of non-stainless steel circle hooks (offset or non-offset) is required when fishing for all species in the snapper grouper complex (including black sea bass) when using hook-and-line gear with natural baits in waters north of 28 degrees N. latitude.
Dehooking Tools Required - both recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for species in the snapper grouper management complex.
Bag Limit Sale Prohibited - the sale of bag limit caught snapper grouper species is prohibited.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has proposed to more than double the current annual catch limit of 847,000 pounds (whole weight) to 1,814,000 pounds. NOAA Fisheries is reviewing this request and expects to publish a proposed rule for public comment this summer. The Council is requesting the increase be implemented in 2013 based on the latest stock assessment showing the black sea bass stock in the South Atlantic has recovered and is not longer overfished or undergoing overfishing. If approved, the increase will extend both the recreational and commercial fishing seasons.

Read the complete news release regarding the proposed changes to black sea bass catch limits.

SA Fishing Regulations App Now Available - stay up-to-date with all of the federal fishing regulations when heading offshore by downloading the Council's SA Fish Regulations App. (See below for details.)

Additional regulation information is available from the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council at www.safmc.net and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/bsb/index.html.

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

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