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Marine Fisheries - Proclamation FF-10-2017

Marine Fisheries

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FF-10-2017

PROCLAMATION

RE: MONKFISH – COMMERCIAL FISHING OPERATIONS – ATLANTIC OCEAN

This Proclamation supersedes proclamation FF-7-2017 and removes the use of gill nets with a stretched mesh size greater than seven (7) inches configured for harvesting monkfish in state waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Braxton C. Davis, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 P.M., Sunday, April 2, 2017, the following restrictions shall apply to the commercial monkfish fishery:

I. GILL NET AND SEASON CLOSURES

A. The seasons and large mesh gill net mesh size exemptions established by proclamation (FF-7-2017) for the harvest of monkfish from the Atlantic Ocean with gill nets in a one-mile-wide area extending from two miles seaward of the coastline to three miles seaward of the coastline from the North Carolina/Virginia state line southward to Wimble Shoal (Latitude 35° 30’N) is closed.

II. GENERAL INFORMATION

A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-134; 113-168.2; 113-168.3; 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03J .0103, 03M .0512 and 03O .0506.

B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.

C. The monkfish gill net fishery is closed in accordance with the permit conditions which specify that if water temperatures are greater than 11° C or interactions occur between large mesh gill nets and marine mammals or sea turtles, the fishery will close. Division records indicate that the water temperature has been reached.

D. The Atlantic Ocean is closed to the use of gill nets greater than seven (7) inches stretched mesh by Proclamation M-29-2016, dated December 6, 2016 from December 16, 2016 through April 14, 2017 with the exception of the monkfish and striped bass fisheries. The 2017 Monkfish Large Mesh Gill Net Permit required for this exception is no longer valid upon this closure.

E. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan prohibits the use of gill nets greater than or equal to 7 inch stretched mesh at night from December 16 through April 14, unless tie-downs are used from the NC/VA border (36° 33’N) to Cape Lookout (34° 35.4’N). Tie-downs shall be spaced not more than 15 feet apart along the float line, not more than 48 inches in length from the point where it connects to the float line to the point where it connects to the lead line. Night is any time from one hour after sunset to one hour prior to sunrise. The NMFS Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan requires tie-downs as described above on large mesh nets at all times from March 16 through April 30 north of the NC/SC border.

F. For purposes of this proclamation, large mesh gill nets are defined as gill nets greater than seven (7) inches stretched mesh.

G. North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03I .0113 specifies that it is unlawful for any licensee under Chapter 113, Subchapter IV of the General Statutes to refuse to allow the Fisheries Director or his agents to obtain biological data, harvest information, or other statistical data necessary or useful to the conservation and management of marine and estuarine resources from fish in the licensee’s possession.

H. In accordance with N.C. General Statute 113-221.1 (c) All persons who may be affected by proclamations issued by the Fisheries Director are under a duty to keep themselves informed of current proclamations.

I. Contact N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632 for more information or visit the division website at http://ncmarinefisheries.net 

J. This Proclamation supersedes proclamation FF-7-2017 and removes the use of gill nets with a stretched mesh size greater than seven (7) inches configured for harvesting monkfish in state waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

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Braxton C. Davis, Director
DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES

March 31, 2017
10:42 AM
FF-10-2017

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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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