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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - nr-36-2012 Public Comment Sought

Marine Fisheries

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Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021
Release: Immediate
Date: Sept. 10, 2012

Public Comment Sought on Shrimp, Southern Flounder
and American Shad Management

MOREHEAD CITY — Fishermen will get a chance to comment on the future of shrimp, southern flounder and American shad management in North Carolina at a series of public meetings to be held in the coming weeks.

Public comment will be accepted on a draft revision to the N.C. Shrimp Fishery Management Plan, a draft amendment to the N.C. Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan and a draft N.C. American Shad Sustainable Fishery Plan.

The draft revision to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan recommends continuing research on the shrimp trawl fishery. However, it does not recommend changes in management of this fishery at this time. After receiving public comment and a review by the advisory committees, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will decide at its November meeting whether to proceed with the revision or switch to an amendment process. The amendment process includes convening an advisory committee and exploring changes in management strategies.

Since 2010, commercial southern flounder management has revolved around reducing sea turtle interactions with fishing gear. Protected species management measures have changed many times in the last two years, making it difficult for scientists to assess the impact of harvest restrictions on southern flounder stocks and for commercial fishermen to plan for upcoming fishing seasons. While protected species management measures may vary in the future, the draft amendment to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan provides options for sustainable commercial southern flounder harvest that are not tied to protected species management measures.

Online copies of the draft shrimp revision and draft southern flounder amendment can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/fmps-under-development.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is requiring all states to adopt an American Shad Sustainable Fishery Plan in order to continue this fishery. North Carolina’s draft plan includes fisheries for the Albemarle/Roanoke, Tar/Pamlico, Neuse and Cape Fear River systems and outlines sustainability triggers for each system. The plan also contains management recommendations for the 2013 fishing season.

An online copy of the draft American shad plan can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/fmp-atlantic-states-marine-fisheries-commission-proposals.

Comment periods on all three plans will be held in conjunction with Marine Fisheries Commission regional advisory committee meetings set for:

Southern Advisory Committee
Sept. 19 at 4 p.m.
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Wilmington Regional Office
127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington

Northern Advisory Committee
Sept. 27 at 4 p.m.
Vernon G. James Research & Extension Center
207 Research Station Road, Plymouth






Additionally, public comment will be taken on the draft revision to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan in conjunction with meetings of the Shellfish/Crustacean and Habitat and Water Quality advisory committees set for:

Shellfish/Crustacean
6 p.m., Oct. 2
Craven County Cooperative Extension Office
300 Industrial Drive, New Bern

Habitat and Water Quality
1:30 p.m. Oct. 2
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Washington Regional Office
943 Washington Square Mall, Washington






Also, public comment on the draft amendment to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan and the Sustainable Fisheries Plan for American Shad will be taken in conjunction with the Finfish Advisory Committee set for:

Finfish
10:30 a.m., Sept. 26
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office
5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City

For more information, contact Nancy Fish in the Marine Fisheries Commission office at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.

nr-36-2012

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

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