Date: Nov. 1, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting Scheduled
MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Nov. 13-15 at the Double Tree by Hilton, 2717 West Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach.
The meeting begins with public comment periods at 6 p.m. Nov. 13. The business meeting is at 9 a.m. Nov. 14 and continues at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 15.
The commission also will hold a workshop in advance of its business meeting at 1 p.m. Nov. 13 at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Central District Office, 5285 U.S. 70 West, Morehead City. The commission will review various laws and rules that govern its actions, including open meetings, public records and ethics laws, as well as the Fisheries Reform Act.
The meeting and workshop are open to the public.
At its business meeting, the commission is slated to decide what size, bag and trip limits to adopt for the recreational and commercial black drum fisheries. An Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan requires states to implement possession limits and a minimum size limit of at least 12 inches by Jan. 1, 2014 and at least 14 inches by Jan. 1, 2016.
The commission is also scheduled to decide the next step to take in managing the state’s shad fishery. Thresholds adopted last year in the N.C. American Shad Sustainable Fishery Plan have been met that require commercial harvest reductions in the Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River system. Also at its August meeting, the commission discussed implementing a moratorium on commercial and recreational harvest of American and hickory shad in all North Carolina waters under its jurisdiction.
The commission is also slated to review a draft supplement to the Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan and vote to begin a public comment period on it. The supplement addresses the commission’s vote at its August meeting to keep the current commercial and recreational size, bag and trip limits for spotted seatrout. The current spotted seatrout plan, adopted in February 2012, included a provision to implement stricter regulations in February 2014, but the commission feels stricter regulations are not needed at this time.
Other agenda items include:
- Review draft amendments to the bay scallop, river herring and shrimp fishery management plans and vote to send them to meetings for public comment.
- Give final approval to Amendment 2 to the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan and Amendment 3 to the Oyster Fishery Management Plan and adopt rules to implement the amendments.
- Adopt a slate of other rules that include giving the division director proclamation authority to set size, recreational bag, commercial trip, gear, season and time restrictions on the taking of sheepshead if needed to maintain a sustainable harvest; and giving the division director proclamation authority to implement federal shellfish harvester and dealer requirements for the protection of public health.
A meeting agenda is attached. A full briefing book can be found on the division’s 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.