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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - nr-44-2012 MFC Meeting

Marine Fisheries

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Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021
Release: Immediate
Date: Oct. 26, 2012

Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting Set for Morehead City

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Nov. 7-9 at the Crystal Coast Civic Center, 3505 Arendell St., Morehead City.

The meeting is open to the public.

The commission is scheduled to review advisory committee recommendations, public comment and the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ position on draft changes to two state fishery management plans.

The commission will be asked to either approve a draft revision of the state’s Shrimp Fishery Management Plan, which does not recommend management changes, or initiate the process for a fishery management plan amendment.

The amendment process is a more lengthy course of action used when it is determined that changes in rules or management strategies may be needed. Through this process, division staff and an advisory committee develop positions on specific issues to bring back to the commission.

Also, the commission will be asked to select preferred management options for the commercial flounder fishery and vote to send a draft amendment to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan for Department of Environment and Natural Resources and legislative review.

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 and an accompanying issue paper can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/fmps-under-development.

Also scheduled for this meeting is discussion on a draft American Shad Sustainable Fishery Plan. The commission will be asked to review public input and approve the draft plan.

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.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Nov. 7, 9 a.m. Nov. 8 and 8:30 a.m. Nov. 9.

The commission will take public comments on any fisheries issue at 6 p.m. Nov. 7 and 9 a.m. Nov. 8. The chairman will allow each speaker to talk for five minutes during the Nov. 7 session and three minutes during the Nov. 8 session. Due to time constraints, those making comments will be asked to speak only once, either at the Nov. 7 or Nov. 8 sessions. Individuals will not be allowed to speak 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-agendas-briefingbooks-presentations.

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

nr-44-2012

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

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