V. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113- 170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182;113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03M .0506 and .0512 and 03O. 0503.
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 landing prohibition beginning at 6:00 P.M. on February 28, 2013 will allow the Division to review landing reports.
D. For the purposes of this proclamation, fish shall be considered landed when fish are unloaded or the vessel is tied to the dock, whichever occurs first.
E. N.C. 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 licensees possession.
F. Federal regulations for Fisheries of the Northeastern United States specify in 50 CFR Part 648.4(a)(7) that “any vessel of the United States that fishes for or retains black sea bass in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3’ N. lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, must have been issued and carry on board a valid National Marine Fisheries Service Black Sea Bass Moratorium Permit, except for vessels other than party or charter vessels that observe the 100 pound possession limit established pursuant to §648.145.”
G. The intent of this proclamation is to extend the end of the existing landing period from February 22 to 6:00 P.M., February 28, 2013, to give an additional six days to catch the 2,000 pound limit. It allows North Carolina to comply with the requirements of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) and to manage the commercial black sea bass fishery under the state quota system established by the FMP. North Carolina is operating under a state quota and these trip limits and harvest periods are intended to constrain the harvest to the quota.
H. Copies of escape vent specifications for black sea bass pots north of Cape Hatteras are available via the Federal Register posted on the Internet at: http://www.nero.noaa.gov/nero/regs/infodocs/Black%20Sea%20Bass_Info-final.pdf and from the Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557.
I. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation FF-4-2013, dated January 24, 2013.
February 19, 2013