Date: Oct. 23, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Seeks Public Comments,
Advisers for Clam, Oyster Plans
MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is asking the public to submit comments on issues they would like to see addressed in an upcoming amendment to the state’s hard clam and oyster fishery management plans.
The division also is looking for commercial and recreational fishermen and scientists to serve on a Hard Clam and Oyster Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee.
The division is beginning a mandated five-year review of the state’s hard clam and oyster fishery management plans that were adopted by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission in 2008. It is anticipated that amending both plans will be necessary as management issues concerning harvesting with mechanical gear and administration of the shellfish lease program have already been identified.
The agency is soliciting public comment on any hard clam and oyster fishery management issues as part of the review process.
Written comments will be accepted until Nov. 15 and should be addressed to Tina Moore or Mike Marshall, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557 or sent by email to Tina.Moore@ncdenr.gov or Mike.Marshall@ncdenr.gov.
In addition, the division is seeking members for an advisory committee to assist the division in recommending changes to the plans. The division is seeking individuals from the following categories for clams and oysters:
- Commercial harvesters using mechanical methods;
- Commercial harvesters using hand methods;
- Shellfish leaseholders and shellfish Aquaculture Operation Permit holders;
- Recreational harvesters and Under Dock Oyster Culture Permit holders;
- Clam and oyster dealers; and
- Scientists with expertise in clam and oyster biology and shell bottom habitats.
To qualify to serve on the committee, applicants may not have had a significant fisheries violation in the past three years.
Individuals interested in serving as an adviser should be willing to attend meetings at least once a month and participate in the committee process, which includes reviewing scientific documents and issue papers to make recommendations on management strategies. Advisors will be reimbursed for travel and other expenses incurred in relation to their official duties.
Applications are available online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-advisory-committees or at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ offices or by calling 252-808-8022 or 800-682-2632.
Applications should be returned by Nov. 15 to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557, Attention: Lauren Morris or to Lauren.Morris@ncdenr.gov.