Date: August 20, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Marine Fisheries Commission to Meet in Raleigh Aug. 28-30
MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Aug. 28-30 at the Double Tree by Hilton Raleigh – Brownstone – University Hotel, 1707 Hillsborough St., Raleigh.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Aug. 28, 9 a.m. Aug. 29 and 8:30 a.m. Aug. 30 and is open to the public.
The commission is scheduled to vote to grant or deny a petition for rulemaking that proposes reclassifying most internal coastal waters as secondary nursery areas. The effect of the proposed rule would be to halt shrimp and crab trawling in North Carolina inshore waters.
More than 700 people attended a July 30 meeting when four advisory committees to the commission discussed this petition. All four committees voted to recommend the commission deny the petition.
The commission is also slated to consider a second petition for rulemaking that seeks to prohibit the use of commercial fishing gear and certain types of recreational fishing gear on and around the Oriental Artificial Reef in the Neuse River.
Other agenda items include:
- An update on the Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan. The plan, adopted in February 2012, included a provision for implementing stricter regulations in February 2014, if needed, to reduce the daily recreational bag limit to three fish per person, implement a Dec. 15-Jan. 31 recreational closure, reduce the commercial trip limit to 25 fish and eliminate commercial closures.
- An update on the Division of Marine Fisheries’ application for an incidental take permit for sea turtles in the gill net fishery. The September opening of the Pamlico Sound Gill Net Restricted Area will depend upon receipt of this permit.
- Approval of a five-year schedule for fishery management plan reviews. The Division of Marine Fisheries will propose a one-year delay in the review of the N.C. Red Drum Fishery Management Plan, from July 2014 to July 2015, so that it may use the results of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southeast Data, Assessment and Review stock assessment slated for 2015.
The commission will take public comment on any fisheries issue at 6 p.m. Aug. 28 and at 9 a.m. Aug. 29. The chairman will allow each speaker to comment for three minutes. Due to time constraints, those making comments will be asked to speak only once, either at the Aug. 28 or Aug. 29 session, but not during both public comment periods.
A meeting agenda is attached. A full briefing book can be found on the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-meetings.
For more information, contact Marine Fisheries Commission Liaison Nancy Fish at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.