II. RECREATIONAL PURPOSES SEASON, SIZE AND POSSESSION LIMITS:
The season for the recreational harvest of all allowable shark species groups is year round.
A. It is unlawful to possess more than one (1) shark per vessel per day or if no vessel is used, it is unlawful to possess more than one (1) shark per person per day (with the exception of smooth dogfish (smoothhound), which have no maximum harvest limits) of the following allowable recreational shark species: Large Coastal Sharks (tiger, blacktip, spinner, lemon, bull, nurse, great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, and smooth hammerhead), Pelagic Sharks (shortfin mako, blue, common thresher (Alopias vulpinus), porbeagle, and oceanic whitetip) and Small Coastal Sharks (Atlantic sharpnose, finetooth, bonnethead and blacknose).
B. It is unlawful to possess silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) and sandbar (Carcharhinus plumbeus) for recreational purposes.
C. It is unlawful to possess Large Coastal Sharks and Pelagic Sharks less than 54 inches long (fork length).
D. Small Coastal Sharks have no minimum size.
E. One (1) Atlantic sharpnose (no minimum size) and one bonnethead (no minimum size) per person per day may be landed in addition to allowable bag limits for other sharks.
F. It is unlawful for recreational fishermen to possess any shark without head, tail, and fins intact with the carcass through the point of landing. Anglers may still gut and bleed the carcass as long as the tail is not removed. Filleting sharks at sea is prohibited.
G. 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.
H. It is unlawful for recreational fishermen to catch sharks by any gear other than rod and reel or handlines. Handlines are defined as a mainline with no more than two gangions or hooks attached that are retrieved by hand only.
I. Spiny dogfish are exempt from harvest and size restrictions.
III. PROHIBITED SPECIES:
It is unlawful to possess any of the following shark species in state waters: Atlantic angel (Squatina dumerili), Basking (Cetorhinus maximus), Bigeye sand tiger (Odontaspis noronhai), Bigeye sixgill (Hexanchus nakamurai), Bigeye thresher (Alopias superciliosus), Bignose (Carcharhinus altimus), Bluntnose sixgill (Hexanchus griseus), Reef (Carcharhinus perezii), Caribbean sharpnose (Rhizoprionodon porosus), Dusky (Carcharhinus obscurus), Galapagos (Carcharhinus galapagensis), Longfin mako (Isurus paucus), Narrowtooth (Carcharhinus brachyurus), Night (Carcharhinus signatus), Sand Tiger (Carcharias taurus), Sandbar (Carcharhinus plumbeus), Sharpnose sevengill (Heptranchias perlo), Smalltail (Carchahrinus porosus), Whale (Rhincodon typus) and White (Carcharodon carcharias).
IV. 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 03H .0103 and 03M .0512.
B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Fisheries Commission Rule15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. The federal commercial seasons for sharks are based on quotas. Quota information can be obtained by contacting the NMFS Highly Migratory Species Section at (301) 713-2347or (800) 894-5528. The website is http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.
D. Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) commercial seasons and harvest limits are established under the Mid-Atlantic/New England Council Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan or the ASMFC Spiny Dogfish FMP. NMFS is changing the name of smooth dogfish to smoothhound sharks to eliminate confusion that may be caused by having two dogfish species and permits in the future.
E. All gill net restrictions in coastal fishing waters pertaining to the sea turtle settlement agreement measures are still in effect.
F. From January 1 through July 31, the Mid-Atlantic shark area is closed to the use of bottom longline gear by federally permitted commercial vessels. The closed area is described as the Atlantic Ocean seaward of the inner boundary of the U.S. EEZ at 35° 41’ N. lat. just south of Oregon Inlet, North Carolina, and connecting by straight lines the following coordinates in the order stated: 35° 41’ N. lat., 75° 25’ W. long. proceeding due east to 35° 41’ N. lat., 74° 51’ W. long.; then proceeding southeast to 35° 30’ N. lat., 74° 46’ W. long.; then proceeding southwest, roughly following the 55 fathom mark, to 33° 51’ N. lat., 76° 24’ W. long.; then proceeding due west to intersect the inner boundary of the U.S. EEZ at 33° 51’ N. lat., 77° 53’ W. long. near Cape Fear, North Carolina.
G. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation FF-33-2013, dated May 21, 2013. It aligns state restrictions with the National Marine Fisheries Service season for Large Coastal Sharks and changes the 5% ratio back to 12%. ASMFC Spiny Dogfish and Coastal Sharks Management Board voted to maintain a 12% fin to carcass ratio, consistent with the 2010 Shark Conservation Act as part of the management measure in Addendum II.
May 22, 2013