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XII. Combined Bag Limits
A. It is unlawful to possess more than five vermilion snapper and 10 other snappers per person per day without a valid Federal Commercial South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper permit.
B. It is unlawful to possess more than three grouper per person without a valid Federal Commercial South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper permit of which:
1. no more than one may be a gag or black grouper (individually or in combination) per person per day;
2. no more than three blueline tilefish or sand tilefish per person per day.
C. For commercial purposes, it is unlawful to possess golden tilefish through 12:01 A.M. January 1, 2014. For recreational purposes, it is unlawful to possess golden tilefish. The season will reopen at 12:01 A.M. on January 1, 2014.
D. Effective at 12:01 A.M. Thursday, November 14, 2013, it is unlawful to sell or offer for sale blue runner taken from the waters under the jurisdiction of North Carolina or the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
E. It is unlawful to possess speckled hind.
F. It is unlawful to possess warsaw grouper.
G. For recreational purposes, it is unlawful to possess more than 20 fish in the aggregate per person per day of the following species without a valid Federal Commercial South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper permit: whitebone porgy, jolthead porgy, knobbed porgy, longspine porgy, scup, gray triggerfish, yellow jack, bar jack, almaco jack, banded rudderfish, lesser amberjack white grunt, margate and spadefish.
H. For commercial and recreational purposes, it is lawful to possess jolthead, knobbed, saucereye and whitebone porgy and scup. No size or trip limits are in effect at this time.
I. For recreational purposes, it is lawful to possess gray triggerfish taken from waters under the jurisdiction of North Carolina or the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. No size or trip limits are in effect at this time. For commercial purposes , the season will reopen at 12:01 a.m. Monday, October 28, 2013 and will close at 12:01 a.m. on November 14, 2013. The season will reopen at 12:01A.M., January 1, 2014. No size or trip limits are in place for the open season.
J. As an exception to XII. G. above, spadefish may be retained and sold in any number without a Federal Commercial South Atlantic Snapper Grouper Permit when taken for commercial purposes in coastal waters.
K. It is unlawful to possess any species of the Snapper-Grouper complex except snowy, yellowedge, and misty groupers; blueline and sand tilefishes; while having longline gear aboard a vessel during open harvest seasons.
L. It is unlawful to possess Nassau grouper or goliath grouper.
M. It is unlawful for persons in possession of a valid National Marine Fisheries Service Snapper-Grouper Permit for Charter Vessels to exceed the creel restrictions established in Sections (I), (IX) and (X) of this proclamation when fishing with more than three persons (including the captain and mate) on board.
N. It is unlawful to sell, offer for sale any species of the Snapper-Grouper complex harvested or possessed under the bag limits specified in 50 CFR Part §622.39 (d) unless the vessel owner has been issued a Federal Commercial South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Permit.
O. It is unlawful to purchase any species of the snapper grouper complex harvested in the Atlantic Ocean without a valid South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Dealer Permit.
P. It is unlawful to purchase any species of the snapper grouper complex harvested in the Atlantic Ocean from a vessel without a valid South Atlantic Snapper Grouper Permit.
XIII. Fish Traps/Pots
A. It is unlawful to use or have on board a vessel fish traps for taking snappers and groupers except sea bass pots as allowed in Section XIII. B. below.
B. Sea bass may be taken with pots that conform with the federal rule requirements for mesh sizes and pot size as specified in 50 CFR Part §646.2, openings and degradable fasteners specified in 50 CFR §Part 646.22(c)(2)(i), and escape vents and degradable materials as specified in 50 CFR Part §622.40 (b)(3)(i) and rules published in 50 CFR pertaining to sea bass north of Cape Hatteras (35° 15.0321' N. Latitude). Federal rules for commercial black sea bass pot endorsements and pot restrictions, both of which were effective July 1, 2012, can be found in 50 CFR Part §622.40(a)(2)(xv) and 50 CFR Part §622.40(d)(1)(i), respectively. South of Cape Hatteras, sea bass may be taken with pots that conform with the federal rule requirements for mesh sizes and pot size as specified in 50 CFR Part §622.40 . Copies of these rules are available via the Federal Register notice for South Atlantic Snapper Grouper Amendment 18A, posted on the Internet at http://gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-06-01/pdf/2012-13342.pdf and at the Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, North Carolina 28557 at no cost.
XIV. Dehooking Tools
It is unlawful to fail to use dehooking tools in both the recreational and commercial snapper-grouper fisheries when the fish is to be released.
XV. 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, 03I .0102, 03M .0506 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. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. The intent of this proclamation is to maintain North Carolina’s compliance with the requirements of amendments to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. Effective October 1, 2008, the provisions found in this proclamation were eliminated from N.C. Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03M .0506 in order to allow the Fisheries Director the latitude to comply with changes that occur in the requirements without suspending portions of the rule.
D. Provisions for multiple day trip possessions for vessels without a valid Federal South Atlantic Snapper- Grouper Permit are found in 50 CFR Part §622.39. This rule states in part that a person aboard a charter vessel or headboat on a trip that spans more than 24 hours may possess no more than two daily bag limits of species other than red porgy. A person aboard a headboat on a trip that spans more than 48 hours and who can document that fishing was conducted on at least three days may possess no more than three bag limits of species other than red porgy. Privately-operated vessels are allowed only one bag limit.
E. After a commercial snapper–grouper quota has been met, all purchase and sale is prohibited and harvest and/or possession is limited to the recreational bag limit when the recreational season is open.
F. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation FF-57-2013 dated November 12, 2013 . It closes the commercial seasons for vermilion snapper and red porgy on December 2, 2013 due to the federal quotas being met.
November 27, 2013