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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - nr-21-2018 Buoys

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Feb. 13, 2018
Phone: 252-726-7021

New buoys going on estuarine artificial reefs
and oyster sanctuaries

8-point rule

 

 

MOREHEAD CITY — Anglers who fish on artificial reefs and oyster sanctuaries in the rivers and sounds will notice some changes to the buoys this spring.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Artificial Reef Program and Oyster Sanctuary Program is replacing the buoys used to mark reef sites in estuarine waters.

The new buoys are white, 13 inches in diameter, with the word “REEF” displayed above an orange diamond (see example here).

Buoys marking oyster sanctuaries will also display “OYSTER SANCTUARY” on the sides. These new buoys will replace the yellow U.S. Coast Guard Class IV and Class V buoys used until now.

The new buoys are smaller and lighter than those historically employed, but sufficient for use in the sounds and rivers. This will allow staff to service them using smaller vessels, freeing the larger vessel for other shellfish rehabilitation projects.

The buoy replacement operation is expected to be completed by March 1.

An artificial reef is a manmade underwater structure, typically built to promote marine life in areas with a generally featureless bottom. In North Carolina, they serve as crucial spawning and foraging habitat for many commercially and recreationally important fish species.

The division maintains 43 ocean artificial reefs and 25 estuarine reefs. Fifteen of the estuarine reefs serve as oyster sanctuaries. Ocean reefs are located from one-half mile to 38 miles from shore and are situated so that they can be reached from every maintained inlet in the state.

Anglers, divers or boaters needing more information should contact Jason Peters, division artificial reef coordinator, at 252-808-8063 or Jason.Peters@ncdenr.gov.

nr-21-2018

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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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