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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation FF-08-2019

Marine Fisheries

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FF-8-2019

PROCLAMATION

RE: BLACK SEA BASS – COMMERCIAL FISHING OPERATIONS – ATLANTIC OCEAN – NORTH OF CAPE HATTERAS

This proclamation opens the Atlantic Ocean commercial black sea bass fishery north of Cape Hatteras at 12:01 A.M., Sunday, April 14, 2019, and sets harvest periods and limits. The fishery will close by proclamation once the annual North Carolina quota is reached or at 6:00 P.M. Monday, September 30, 2019, whichever occurs first.

Stephen W. Murphey, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Sunday, April 14, 2019, the following restrictions will apply to the Atlantic Ocean commercial black sea bass fishery north of Cape Hatteras (35° 15.3’N. Latitude):

I. SIZE LIMIT
It is unlawful to possess black sea bass less than 11 inches total length (excluding the caudal fin filament) north of Cape Hatteras.

II. HARVEST PERIOD AND LIMITS

A. It is unlawful for a commercial fishing operation employing fish pots, traps, and/or hook and line gear, regardless of the number of people involved, to possess or land more than 1,000 pounds of black sea bass per week. For the purpose of this proclamation, a week shall be from 12:01 A.M. Sunday to midnight the following Saturday.

B. It is unlawful for a commercial fishing operation employing trawls, regardless of the number of people involved, to possess or land more than 3,000 pounds of black sea bass during the harvest period.

C. It is unlawful for a commercial fishing operation employing any other gear not listed above, regardless of the number of people involved, to possess or land more than 200 pounds of black sea bass per trip.

D. The black sea bass fishery will close by proclamation once the quota has been reached.

III. GEAR RESTRICTIONS

A. FISH TRAPS/POTS: It is unlawful to fish black sea bass traps or pots that fail to conform with the Federal rule requirements for escape vents specified in 50 CFR 648.144(b)(2) and for degradable fasteners specified in 50 CFR 648.144(b)(3)(i) and (ii).

B. TRAWLS: It is unlawful for any owner or operator of an otter trawl vessel that is issued a federal black sea bass moratorium permit to possess 500 lb or more of black sea bass from January 1 through March 31, or more than 100 lb of black sea bass from April 1 through December 31, unless fishing with nets that have a minimum mesh size of 4.5-inch diamond mesh applied throughout the codend for at least 75 continuous meshes forward of the terminus of the net, or for codends with less than 75 meshes, the entire net must have a minimum mesh size of 4.5-inch diamond mesh throughout and all other nets are stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in the Federal Code of Regulations (50 CFR 648.2). Rollers used in roller rig or rock hopper trawl gear shall be no larger than 18 inches in diameter.
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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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