RE: SPINY DOGFISH-COMMERCIAL FISHING OPERATIONS
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 harvest of spiny dogfish in the waters of North Carolina.
I. HARVEST LIMITS, AREAS AND TRIP LIMITS
A. It is unlawful for a commercial fishing operation, regardless of the number of people involved to possess more than 20,000 pounds of spiny dogfish per day.
B. The commercial spiny dogfish fishery will close by proclamation once the quota has been reached or at 6:00 P.M., April 30, 2016, whichever occurs first.
II. 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 Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. The NMFS Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan prohibits the use of gill nets with a stretched mess length greater than 5 inches or less than 7 inches at night from November 1 through April 30 in all Atlantic Ocean state waters.
D. The NMFS Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan prohibits the use of gill nets with a stretched mesh length greater than or equal to 7 inches, at night from December 16 through April 14, unless tie downs are used in Atlantic Ocean state waters from the NC/VA border (36° 33’ N) to Cape Lookout (34° 35.4’N). Tie downs shall be spaced not more than 15 feet apart along the float line, not more than 48 inches in length from the point where it connects to the float line to the point where it connects to the lead line. Night is any time between one hour after sunset and one hour prior to sunrise.
E. Finfish dealers are required to possess a valid Spiny Dogfish Dealer Permit and adhere to the daily reporting requirements in Proclamation FF-61-2015, dated December 7, 2015.
F. The intent of this proclamation is to manage the North Carolina spiny dogfish annual quota established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Spiny Dogfish Management Board, following the guidelines of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for spiny dogfish.
G. In accordance with N.C. General Statute 113-221.1(c) All persons who may be affected by proclamations issued by the Fisheries Director are under a duty to keep themselves informed of current proclamations.
H. Contact N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557 252-726-7021 or 800-682- 2632 for more information or visit the division website at http://ncmarinefisheries.net/.
I. This proclamation supersedes proclamation FF-52-2015, dated October 27, 2015. It establishes a daily commercial trip limit for the spiny dogfish fishery. The fishery will close by proclamation once the quota has been reached or at 6:00 P.M. on April 30, 2016 whichever occurs first.
December 7, 2015