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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation FF-29-2015

Marine Fisheries

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FF-29-2015

PROCLAMATION

RE: COMMERCIAL AND RECREATIONAL SHARK HARVEST

Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 11:30 P.M. Sunday, June 7, 2015, the harvest of sharks taken in N.C. Coastal Fishing Waters is restricted as follows:

I. COMMERCIAL HARVEST RESTRICTIONS:

A. ALLOWABLE SPECIES,SEASONS AND STATUS OF THE 2015 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 NOAA Fisheries for federal waters and followed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) in state 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

2015 STATUS OF SEASONS

1. AGGREGATED LARGE COASTAL

 

 

Allowable Species: blacktip, silky, spinner, bull, tiger, lemon, nurse, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, and sandbar**

From July 1 until the annual quota is reached but not later than December 31. 

Closed until July 1, 2015

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

Closed

3. PELAGIC

 

 

Blue Sharks

From January 1 until the annual quota is reached but not later than December 31

Open

Porbeagle Sharks

From January 1 until the annual quota is reached but not later than December 31

Closed for 2015

Shortfin mako, oceanic whitetip, and common thresher sharks

From January 1 until the annual quota is reached but not later than December 31

Open

4. SMOOTH DOGFISH (SMOOTHHOUND SHARK)

From January 1 through December 31

Open

 

If quotas are reached prior to the end of the season, seasons will be closed by proclamation

 

**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 a NOAA Fisheries-approved observer is onboard.

B. SIZE AND CATCH LIMITS:
1. Large Coastal: It is unlawful to possess Large Coastal Sharks. Effective July 1, 2015, 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: It is unlawful to possess Small Coastal Sharks.

3. Pelagic: This group is exempt from harvest and size restrictions with the following exception; it is unlawful to possess Porbeagle sharks. The Porbeagle shark commercial season closed on December 17, 2014 through 2015 because landings have exceeded the available adjusted commercial quota for 2014 and 2015

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 completely 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 to possess or sale silky, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead and/or oceanic whitetip sharks from a vessel with pelagic longline gear onboard or on vessels issued both a HMS Charter/Headboat permit and a commercial shark permit when tuna, swordfish, or billfish are on board the vessel or being offloaded from the vessel.

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.
C. COMMERCIAL RESTRICTIONS:
1. It is unlawful to use gears other than rod and reel, handlines, large and small mesh gill nets, shortlines meeting the criteria in C.2. below, pound nets/fish traps and trawl nets.

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.
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