Date: May 20, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
New Fisheries Rules Include Electronic Trip Ticket Reporting
for Larger Dealers
MOREHEAD CITY — In the coming months, Trip Ticket reports will go paperless for fish dealers who purchase large quantities of finfish from fishermen.
A new N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission rule requires fish dealers that report annual average landings of greater than 50,000 pounds of finfish for three consecutive calendar years to report landings electronically.
It is one of a slate of new Marine Fisheries Commission rules pertaining to various issues that will go into effect June 1 for coastal North Carolina fishing waters.
The electronic reporting rule requires affected dealers to begin paperless reporting within 120 days of receiving notification from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. The division plans to send notification letters to affected dealers in June.
Fish dealers have been required to report dockside seafood purchases to the division’s Trip Ticket Program since 1994, but until now electronic reporting was voluntary for all dealers. Transitioning to electronically submitted reports for the state’s largest dealers will allow these files to be processed quicker, giving faster access to data that will allow fisheries managers to make more timely decisions and more efficiently monitor fisheries landings for species managed under a quota.
The division supplies the software program for electronic Trip Ticket filing free of charge. Dealers must use their own computers and internet connections.
The division estimates that the electronic reporting rule change initially will impact about 64 fish dealers in the state; however, 41 of those already choose to file their Trip Tickets electronically. The rule could impact a greater number of fish dealers if they reach the landings threshold in future years.
Once dealers reach the threshold, they will be required to continue to submit electronic Trip Tickets, even if they fall below the 50,000-pound average in later years.
Other Marine Fisheries Commission rules that will go into effect June 1 will:
- Replace the harvest limit of 100 shrimp per person per day for shrimp taken with a cast net from a closed area with a volume harvest limit of two quarts of shrimp per person per day. The amounts are effectively equal, but measuring the volume will take less time than counting the shrimp, making the enforcement check safer for Marine Patrol and less burdensome for the fisherman.
- Implement Amendment 1 to the N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan by:
- Removing the prohibition on the sale and purchase of striped bass taken by hook-and-line gear. This will not automatically authorize the use of hook-and-line gear in the commercial striped bass fishery, but it will permit issuance of a proclamation to allow the use of this gear at some future date. It is the intent that such a proclamation would follow discussions by the commission and its advisory committees in association with review of fishery management plans
- Shifting the existing joint/coastal boundary line between the Albemarle Sound Management Area and the Roanoke River Management Area for easier public identification and adherence to striped bass regulations.
- Re-establishing a coordinate point on land for Roanoke Marshes Point that is the western point of the southern boundary for the Albemarle Sound Management Area. The point is used to mark the boundaries for the Albemarle Sound/Chowan River Herring Management Areas, Attended Gill Net Areas and Striped Bass Management Areas.
- Clarifying that it will remain unlawful for a commercial fishing operation to possess striped bass taken from waters of the Roanoke River Management Area, which are under the jurisdiction of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
For more information, contact division Rulemaking Coordinator Catherine Blum 252-808-8014 or Catherine.Blum@ncdenr.gov.