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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation FF-47-2018

Marine Fisheries

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FF-47-2018

PROCLAMATION

RE: BLACK SEA BASS – COMMERCIAL FISHING OPERATIONS – ATLANTIC OCEAN – NORTH OF CAPE HATTERAS – OPEN COMMERCIAL HARVEST

This proclamation supersedes proclamation FF-42-2018, dated November 1, 2018. It sets the harvest period and limits for the Atlantic Ocean commercial black sea bass fishery north of Cape Hatteras. The fishery will close at 6:00 P.M. Monday, December 31, 2018 or by proclamation once the annual North Carolina quota is reached, whichever occurs first.

Stephen W. Murphey, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Monday, December 3, 2018, the following restrictions will apply to the Atlantic Ocean commercial black sea bass fishery north of Cape Hatteras (35° 15.3’N. Latitude):

I. SIZE LIMIT
It is unlawful to possess black sea bass less than 11 inches total length (excluding the caudal fin filament) north of Cape Hatteras.

II. HARVEST PERIOD AND LIMITS

A. For this proclamation, the harvest period for the commercial black sea bass fishery north of Cape Hatteras begins 12:01 A.M. Monday, December 3, 2018 through 6:00 P.M. Monday, December 31, 2018.

B. It is unlawful for a commercial fishing operation regardless of the number of people involved, to possess or land more than 3,500 pounds of black sea bass during the harvest period.

C. The commercial black sea bass fishery will close by proclamation once the quota has been reached, or at 6:00 P.M., Monday, December 31, 2018, whichever occurs first.

III. GEAR RESTRICTIONS

A. FISH TRAPS/POTS: It is unlawful to fish black sea bass traps or pots that fail to conform with the Federal rule requirements for escape vents specified in 50 CFR 648.144(b)(2) and for degradable fasteners specified in 50 CFR 648.144(b)(3)(i) and (ii).

B. TRAWLS: It is unlawful for any owner or operator of an otter trawl vessel that is issued a federal black sea bass moratorium permit to possess 500 lb or more of black sea bass from January 1 through March 31, or more than 100 lb of black sea bass from April 1 through December 31, unless fishing with nets that have a minimum mesh size of 4.5-inch diamond mesh applied throughout the codend for at least 75 continuous meshes forward of the terminus of the net, or for codends with less than 75 meshes, the entire net must have a minimum mesh size of 4.5-inch diamond mesh throughout and all other nets are stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in the Federal Code of Regulations (50 CFR 648.2). Rollers used in roller rig or rock hopper trawl gear shall be no larger than 18 inches in diameter.
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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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