RE: COMMERCIAL SHARK CLOSURE: SMALL COASTAL SHARKS
Dr. Louis B. Daniel, III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 11:30 P.M. Monday, July 28, 2014, the following restrictions will apply to the commercial harvest of sharks:
I. HARVEST RESTRICTIONS
It is unlawful to possess small coastal sharks (SCS), consisting of Atlantic sharpnose, bonnethead, finetooth and blacknose taken in a commercial fishing operation.
II. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-134; 113-181; 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 Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. The small coastal sharks group includes Atlantic sharpnose, bonnethead, finetooth and blacknose sharks. The large coastal sharks and pelagic shark species groups will remain open. The commercial smooth dogfish fishery also remains open as does the commercial spiny dogfish fishery south of Browns Inlet, which operates under a separate management plan.
D. Persons aboard a commercially permitted vessel that is also properly permitted to operate as a charter vessel or headboat for Highly Migratory Species and is engaged in a for-hire trip can fish under the recreational retention limits for sharks and “no sale” provisions found at 50 CFR 635.22(a) and (c).
E. The intent of this proclamation is to close the commercial small coastal sharks fisheries in state waters due to the commercial quota established by the National Marine Fisheries Service having been reached.
F. This proclamation supersedes the portions of FF-10-2014 (Revised), dated June 5,2014 that pertain to the small coastal shark species listed in section I above.
July 25, 2014