RE: COMMERCIAL AND RECREATIONAL SHARK HARVEST - ALL STATE WATERS
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M. Friday, May 24, 2013, the harvest of sharks taken in state waters is restricted as follows:
I. COMMERCIAL HARVEST RESTRICTIONS:
A. ALLOWABLE SPECIES AND SEASONS:
It is unlawful to possess sharks taken for commercial purposes except during open seasons established by this proclamation. Open seasons in North Carolina waters shall be the same as open seasons established by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for federal waters. These open seasons are dependent on adherence to established quotas. The allowable shark species groups and commercial fishing seasons are defined herein as:
|SPECIES GROUP ||SEASONS |
|1. LARGE COASTAL || |
|Allowable Species: black tip, silky, spinner, bull, tiger, lemon, nurse, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, and smooth hammerhead ||From May 24 until the annual quota is reached but not later than December 31. |
|2. SMALL COASTAL || |
|Allowable Species: Atlantic sharpnose, bonnethead, finetooth, and blacknose ||From January 1 until the annual quota is reached but not later than December 31 |
|3. PELAGIC || |
|Allowable species: shortfin mako, porbeagle, common thresher, oceanic whitetip, and blue shark ||From January 1 until the annual quota is reached but not later than December 31 |
|4. SMOOTH DOGFISH (SMOOTHHOUND) ||From January 1 through December 31 |
| ||If quotas are reached prior to the end of the season, seasons will be closed by proclamation |
B. SIZE AND CATCH LIMITS:
1. Large Coastal: It is unlawful to possess more than 36 Large Coastal sharks per trip. There is no minimum size limit on commercial Large Coastal sharks.
2. Small Coastal: This group is exempt from harvest and size restrictions.
3. Pelagic: This group is exempt from harvest and size restrictions.
4. It is unlawful to fail to return all sharks not meeting harvest requirements to the water in a manner that ensures the highest likelihood of survival.
5. It is unlawful to possess any shark [with the exception of smooth dogfish (smoothhound)] without tail and fins naturally attached to the carcass through the point of landing. Commercial fishermen may completely remove the fins of smooth dogfish (smoothhound) from March through June of each year. From July through February, for the smooth dogfish (smoothhound) fishery only, commercial fishermen may completely remove the head, tail, pectoral fins, pelvic (ventral) fins, anal fin and second dorsal fin, but must keep the dorsal fin attached naturally to the carcass through landing. Fins may be cut as long as they remain attached to the carcass by natural means with at least a small portion of uncut skin. If fins are removed, the total wet weight of the shark fins may not exceed five (5) percent of the total dressed weight of smooth dogfish (smoothhound) carcasses landed or found onboard a vessel.
C. COMMERCIAL RESTRICTIONS:
1. It is unlawful to use gears other than rod and reel, handlines, large and small mesh gill nets, shortlines (maximum of 500 yards each with 50 hooks or less), meeting the criteria in C.2. below and bandit gear.
2. For purposes of this proclamation, shortlines shall only be used in state waters to capture sharks if they meet the following criteria. A shortline shall not exceed 500 yards in length nor have more than 50 hooks. Hooks attached to a shortline shall not be corrosion resistant and must be designated by the manufacturer as circle hooks. A vessel shall be limited to a maximum of two (2) shortlines.
3. It is unlawful to sell sharks to anyone who is not a federally permitted shark dealer.
4. It is unlawful to use a large mesh (stretched mesh size greater than or equal to 5 inches) gill net more than 2,734 yards in length to capture sharks.