RE: BLACK SEA BASS – COMMERCIAL FISHING OPERATIONS – ATLANTIC OCEAN – NORTH OF CAPE HATTERAS
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Friday, January 1, 2016, the following restrictions will apply to the 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 north of Cape Hatteras. Total length shall be measured along the lateral midline from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail, excluding the caudal fin filament.
II. HARVEST PERIOD AND LIMITS
From the Atlantic Ocean north of Cape Hatteras during the harvest period beginning at 12:01 A.M., Friday, January 1, 2016 and ending at 6:00 P.M., Sunday, January 31, 2016:
A. It is unlawful for a commercial fishing operation employing fish pots and traps and hook and line, regardless of the number of people involved, to possess or land more than 1,500 pounds of black sea bass during the harvest period.
B. It is unlawful for all other commercial fishing operations (those employing gear other than fish pots and traps and hook and line) to possess or land more than 1,500 pounds of black sea bass during the harvest period.
C. The black sea bass fishery will close by proclamation once the quota has been reached or at 6:00 P.M., January 31, 2016, whichever occurs first.
III. GEAR RESTRICTIONS
Black sea bass traps or pots must 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), (ii) and (iii).