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. Thursday, February 13, 2014, the harvest of sharks taken in state watersis 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. AGGREGATED LARGE COASTAL || |
|Allowable Species: blacktip, silky, spinner, bull, tiger, lemon, nurse, scalloped hammerhead*, great hammerhead*, smooth hammerhead*, and sandbar** ||From June 1 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 SHARK) ||From January 1 through December 31 |
| ||If quotas are reached prior to the end of the season, seasons will be closed by proclamation |
*These sharks may not be retained, transshipped, landed, stored, or sold by vessels with pelagic longline gear onboard.
**Sandbar sharks can only be retained by vessels selected to participate in the shark research fishery, subject to the retention limits established by NOAA Fisheries and only when an NOAA Fisheries-approved observer is onboard.
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 Large Coastal sharks taken for commercial purposes.
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 shark)] without tail and fins naturally attached to the carcass through the point of landing. Commercial fishermen may complvetely remove the fins of smooth dogfish (smoothhound shark). If fins are removed, the total wet weight of the shark fins may not exceed twelve (12) percent of the total dressed weight of smooth dogfish (smoothhound shark) carcasses landed or found onboard a vessel.
6. It is unlawful for a vessel to retain, transship, land, store or sell scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead or smooth hammerhead sharks with pelagic longline gear onboard.
7. It is unlawful for a vessel to retain sandbar sharks unless the vessel is selected to participate in the shark research fishery, subject to retention limits established by NOAA Fisheries and only when a NOAA Fisheries-approved observer is onboard.