C. COMMERCIAL RESTRICTIONS:
1. It is unlawful to use gears other than rod and reel, handlines, large and small mesh gill nets, shortlines (maximum of 500 yards each with 50 hooks or less), meeting the criteria in C.2. below and bandit gear.
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.
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 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, porbeagle, common thresher, oceanic whitetip and blue) and Small Coastal Sharks (finetooth, bonnethead, Atlantic sharpnose and blacknose).
B. It is unlawful to possess silky (Carcharhinus falciformis) and sandbar (Carcharhinus plumbeus) sharks for recreational purposes.
C. It is unlawful to possess tiger, blacktip, spinner, lemon, bull, nurse, shortfin mako, blue, thresher, porbeagle, oceanic whitetip, finetooth and blacknose sharks less than 54 inches long (fork length). Fork length measurement is the straight-line distance between the tip of the shark’s nose and the fork of the tail.
D. It is unlawful to possess great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, and smooth hammerhead sharks less than 78 inches (fork length).
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 and smooth dogfish (smoothhound) are exempt from harvest and size restrictions.
J. It is unlawful for a vessel to land or possess oceanic whitetip and hammerhead sharks if they are also in possession of any tunas, billfish or swordfish.
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), sixgill (Hexanchus griseus), Caribbean 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. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation FF-33-2013 (Revised), dated May 22, 2013 and changes minimum size limits for hammerhead, finetooth and blacknose sharks. All gill net restrictions in coastal fishing waters pertaining to the sea turtle settlement agreement measures are still in effect.
July 24, 2013