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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - nr-89-2016 Public Comment

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Dec. 14, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

Advisory committees to meet, accept public comment
on petition impacting shrimp trawling

MOREHEAD CITY — Five advisory committees to the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission will meet jointly next month to discuss and take public comment on a petition for rulemaking calling for habitat protections that, if adopted, would impact shrimp trawl fishing in most North Carolina waters.

The meeting will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, 203 South Front St., New Bern. The Finfish, Shellfish/Crustacean, Habitat and Water Quality, Northern Regional and Southern Regional advisory committees will be asked to review and comment on the petition for rulemaking submitted Nov. 2 by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.

To accommodate as many speakers as possible, those who wish to give public comment at the meeting will be limited to three minutes per person.

Members of the public also may comment on the petition in writing to NCWFPetition@ncdenr.gov or to:

NCWF Petition
Marine Fisheries Commission Office
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
PO Box 769
Morehead City, N.C. 28557

Written comments will be accepted from Dec. 20 until 5 p.m. Jan. 20.

The petition asks the commission to designate all coastal fishing waters (including the ocean out to three miles) not otherwise designated as nursery areas as special secondary nursery areas; establish clear criteria for the opening of shrimp season; and define the type of gear and how and when gear may be used in special secondary nursery areas during shrimp season.

Specific requests of the petition include:

  • Limiting shrimp trawling to three days a week in the daytime only in special secondary nursery areas
  • Limiting the total trawl head rope to 90 feet (which will limit the size of the net) in all state waters
  • Limiting tow times to 45 minutes in special secondary nursery areas
  • Opening shrimp season once the shrimp count in Pamlico Sound reaches 60 shrimp per pound, heads on
  • Implementing an 8-inch size limit for spot and a 10-inch size limit for American croaker
  • Requiring all fishermen to use two Division of Marine Fisheries-certified bycatch reduction devices when trawling in state waters

The commission will discuss and vote on the petition for rulemaking at its February business meeting.

View a copy of the petition here.

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

nr-89-2016

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

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