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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation FF-66-2016 (Revised)

Marine Fisheries

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B. SIZE AND CATCH LIMITS:

1. Large Coastal:  It is unlawful to possess more than 25 Large Coastal sharks per trip. There is no minimum size limit on Large Coastal sharks taken for commercial purposes.

2. Small Coastal: This group is exempt from harvest and size restrictions with the following exception; it is unlawful to possess blacknose sharks north of the 34° 00' N. Latitude (approximately at Kure Beach, North Carolina).

3. Pelagic: This group is exempt from harvest and size restrictions.

4. It is unlawful to fail to return all sharks not meeting harvest requirements to the water in a manner that ensures the highest likelihood of survival.

5. It is unlawful to possess any shark [with the exception of smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis)] without tail and fins naturally attached to the carcass through the point of landing. Commercial fishermen may eviscerate and remove the head and all shark fins of smooth dogfish while at sea provided smooth dogfish make up at least 25 percent, by weight, of the total catch on board at the time of landing. Trips that do not meet the 25 percent catch composition requirement can land smooth dogfish, but the fins must remain naturally attached to the carcass. If fins are removed, the total wet weight of the shark fins may not exceed twelve (12) percent of the total dressed weight of smooth dogfish carcasses landed or found onboard a vessel. Fishermen may retain other sharks on board provided the fins of other shark species remain naturally attached to the carcass through offloading.

6. It is unlawful to possess or offer for sale silky, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead and/or oceanic whitetip sharks from a vessel with pelagic longline gear onboard or on vessels issued both a HMS Charter/Headboat permit and a commercial shark permit when tuna, swordfish, or billfish are on board the vessel or being offloaded from the vessel.

7. It is unlawful for a vessel to retain sandbar sharks unless the vessel is selected to participate in the shark research fishery, subject to retention limits established by NOAA Fisheries and only when a NOAA Fisheries-approved observer is onboard.

C. COMMERCIAL RESTRICTIONS:

1. It is unlawful to use gears other than rod and reel, handlines, large and small mesh gill nets, shortlines meeting the criteria in C.2. below, pound nets/fish traps and trawl nets.

2. For purposes of this proclamation, shortlines shall only be used in state waters to capture sharks if they meet the following criteria.  A shortline shall not exceed 500 yards in length nor have more than 50 hooks.  Hooks attached to a shortline shall not be corrosion resistant and must be designated by the manufacturer as circle hooks. A vessel shall be limited to a maximum of two (2) shortlines.

3. It is unlawful to sell sharks to anyone who is not a federally permitted shark dealer.

4. It is unlawful to take sharks by using more than 2,734 yards of large mesh gill net (stretched mesh size greater than or equal to 5 inches).
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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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