skip to main content | skip to footer
North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - nr-43-2011 Flounder Gill Nets

Marine Fisheries

Web Content Display Web Content Display

Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: (252) 726-7021
Date: Sept. 9,  2011

Fisheries Commission Chooses Dates to
Open Pamlico, Core Sounds to Flounder Gill Nets

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted Thursday to open the fall flounder gill net fishery in Pamlico Sound Sept. 19 with certain conditions.

The commission also voted to open the fall flounder gill net fishery in southern Core Sound, Back Sound, The Straits and North River Oct. 1.

The Pamlico Sound Gill Net Restricted Area will initially open seven days a week under the same regulations and permit requirements as previous years. Under these regulations, the Pamlico Sound Gill Net Restricted Area must close to all large-mesh gill nets for the remainder of the fall fishing season if the fishery has interactions with three live or two dead Kemp’s ridley sea turtles.

However, if there is an interaction with a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director Louis Daniel will reduce the fishing days to six. If there is a second interaction with a live Kemp’s ridley, the number of fishing days will be reduced to five. The commission also authorized division Daniel to implement stricter regulations, if needed.

Core Sound, Back Sound, The Straits and North River will open under regulations established by a sea turtle lawsuit settlement. Under this agreement, these waters must close to set large mesh gill nets for the fall season if there is one interaction with either a live or a dead Kemp’s ridley.

By federal rule, all of Pamlico Sound closes to large-mesh gill net fishing from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30 each year. The closure began in 1999 after several instances of fishery interactions with threatened and endangered sea turtles. Fishermen typically use large-mesh gill nets to target flounder.

Since 2000, the National Marine Fisheries Service has allowed a highly-monitored, large-mesh gill net fishery during the closure in limited areas of the sound under a series of Incidental Take Permits. These permits, authorized under Section 10 of the federal Endangered Species Act, allow for limited takes of threatened or endangered species in an otherwise lawful activity.

North Carolina’s latest Incidental Take Permit for the Pamlico Sound Gill Net Restricted Area expired Dec. 31, but the National Marine Fisheries Service recently agreed to allow the fishery for the fall of 2011 while it reviews the state’s application for a new permit to include all gill net fishing in internal coastal waters statewide. In May 2010, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries submitted an application for a statewide Incidental Take Permit to cover set gill nets statewide, including the Pamlico Sound Gill Net Restricted Area. However, National Marine Fisheries Service review of the application was delayed due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The division was notified Aug. 24 that the application was received and deemed complete. The National Marine Fisheries Service intends to publish a notice of receipt in the Federal Register in the coming weeks. Core Sound, Back Sound, The Straits and North River closed to set large mesh gill nets July 18, in accordance with a lawsuit settlement, after division observers documented several interactions with sea turtles.

North Carolina’s inshore large-mesh gill net fishery has operated under a lawsuit settlement agreement between the state and the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center since May 15, 2010. As part of the agreement, the division is observing large-mesh gill net fishing in inshore waters to track interactions with sea turtles.

The fall flounder fishery in the Pamlico Sound Gill Net Restricted Area is exempt from the lawsuit settlement restrictions and operates under a separate set of regulations.

nr-43-2011
 

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • (252) 726-7021 or 1-800-682-263

NCDMF logo

 

38337 FEEDBACK

Your input is valuable to us. Please send us your feedback.

What type of feedback would you like to send?*

Ask a Question Report a Problem Have a Concern Make a Comment

(If you would like us to respond please include your phone or e-mail.)

Your Question has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Problem has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Concern has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Comment has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

*If you are a DENR employee with an I.T. issue, please submit a DOTS ticket.