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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - nr-26-2012

Marine Fisheries

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Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021
Release: Immediate
Date:  July 23, 2012

Correction: Corrects time of Finfish meeting to 11 a.m.

New Advisory Committees Formed, Meetings Set

MOREHEAD CITY — In an effort to work more efficiently, the state has reorganized several advisory committees of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission.

These new committees will meet in the coming weeks to give input on two issues the commission will discuss at its August meeting. These issues are potential management measures for gill nets due to the listing of Atlantic sturgeon as an endangered species and the creation of two new seed oyster management areas.

A new state law combines and condenses the Northeast, Central, Southeast and Inland regional advisory committees into a Northern Regional Advisory Committee and a Southern Regional Advisory Committee. The new law also combines and condenses the Shellfish and Crustacean advisory committees into one Shellfish/Crustacean Advisory Committee.

The N.C. General Assembly passed the legislation at the recommendation of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. Gov. Bev Perdue signed the bill into law July 16.

The recommendation stemmed from a 2010 law that directed the division to study ways to improve the fishery management plan process without impairing public input.

The new Northern Regional Advisory Committee encompasses areas from the Virginia line south through Hyde and Pamlico counties and any counties to the west. The new Southern Regional Advisory Committee encompasses areas from Carteret County south to the South Carolina line and any counties to the west.

Marine Fisheries Commission Chairman Rob Bizzell pulled from the pool of members of the old committees to appoint members to the new committees today. A membership list is on the division’s website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-advisory-committees.

Each new committee is comprised of 11 members representing commercial and recreational fishing interests, as well as scientists.

The new Shellfish/Crustacean Committee will discuss a proposed amendment to the Oyster Fishery Management Plan to create seed oyster management areas at Possum Bay and Swan Point in the mouth of the New River. Read about this proposal at http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=54ead4de-0bf7-4c8d-bb62-07cbb9cb8b56&groupId=38337.

The new regional advisory committees will discuss the proposed seed oyster management areas, as well as management options to reduce sea turtle and Atlantic sturgeon interactions in the estuarine gill net fishery. Read about this issue at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=dca94324-dd18-4c61-ad22-c6bd6a986774&groupId=38337.

The meetings will be held at the following dates, times and locations:

 Northern Regional Advisory Committee
 6 p.m. July 31
 N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office
 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington
 Contact: Kathy Rawls at 800-338-7805 or 252-264-3911 or Kathy.Rawls@ncdenr.gov

 Southern Regional Advisory Committee
 6 p.m. Aug. 1
 N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office
 127 Cardinal Drive, Wilmington
 Contact: Mike Marshall at 800-682-2632 or 252-808-8077 or Mike.Marshall@ncdner.gov

 Shellfish/Crustacean Committee
 6 p.m. Aug. 2
 N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office
 5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City
 Contact: Mike Marshall at 800-682-2632 or 252-808-8077 or Mike.Marshall@ncdner.gov

Previously announced meetings of the Finfish Advisory Committee and the Sea Turtle Advisory Committee remain as scheduled. These committees also will discuss potential sea turtle and sturgeon management measures. Those meetings are scheduled for:

 Finfish Advisory Committee
 11 a.m. July 25
 N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office
 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington
 Contact: David Taylor, 252-808-8074 or David.L.Taylor@ncdenr.gov

Sea Turtle Advisory Committee
6 p.m. July 26
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office
5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City
Contact: Chris Batsavage, 252-808-8009 or Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov

nr-26-2012

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

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