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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - nr-14-13 Eel Meeting

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Date: Mar. 25, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Public Meeting Slated on Proposed American Eel Regulatory Changes

MOREHEAD CITY — Fishermen and other interested groups will have an opportunity to voice their views on changes to American eel regulations proposed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission at a North Carolina meeting.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will hold a meeting at 6 p.m. April 24 at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Washington Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Highway 17, Washington. The division will accept comments on behalf of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission regarding American Eel Draft Addendum III.

The draft addendum proposes a wide range of management options with the goal of reducing mortality and increasing the conservation of American eel stocks across all life stages. Specific management options focus on the commercial (glass, yellow and silver eel life stages) and recreational American eel fisheries. The document also proposes increased monitoring by the states and recommendations to improve American eel habitat.

There are no proposed changes for the glass eel fisheries in North Carolina. Other management options include:

• Commercial Yellow Eel Fisheries
Option 1 – Status Quo
Option 2 – Increase Minimum Size Limit (recommends 10- to 11- inch minimum size limit)
Option 3 – Gear Restrictions (1-inch-by-½-inch or ¾-inch-by ½-inch mesh size escape panel)
Option 4 – Coast-wide Quota (20 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent, and 50 percent reduction options using 1980-2011 or 1990-2011 as base years)
Option 5 – Reporting Requirements (trip level ticket system for harvesters and dealers)
Option 6 – Two Week Fall Closure

• Commercial Silver Eel Fisheries Measures
Option 1 – Status Quo
Option 2 – Seasonal Closure (Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, each year unless state can document otherwise)

• Recreational Fisheries Measures
Option 1 – Status Quo
Option 2 – Reduce Bag Limit (25-fish per day)
Option 3 – Party/Charter Boat Exemption (continue to operate under 50 eel per day limit)

The complete draft addendum is available at http://www.asmfc.org/speciesDocuments/eel/fmps/DraftAddendumIII_American_ForPublicComment.pdf.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission also will accept written comments on the draft addendum until 11:59 p.m. May 2. Written comments should be sent by regular mail to: Kate Taylor, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 AN, Arlington, Va. 22201. Written comments can also be sent by fax to 703-842-0741 or by email to comments@asmfc.org with the subject line “American eel.” Final action on the Addendum is scheduled to occur in May. For more information, contact Garry Wright, with the Division of Marine Fisheries, at Garry.Wright@ncdenr.govor 800-338-7804.

nr-14-13

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

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