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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation FF-67-2016

Marine Fisheries

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II. Black Sea Bass, south of Cape Hatteras (35° 15.0321’ N. Latitude):

A. It is unlawful to possess black sea bass less than 11 inches total length.

B. It is unlawful to use hook-and-line gear to possess:
1. From January 1 through April 30, more than 354 pounds whole weight (300 pounds gutted weight) of black sea bass per trip;
2. From May 1 through December 31, more than 1,180 pounds whole weight (1,000 pounds gutted weight) of black sea bass per trip.
C. Effective 12:01 A.M. Thursday, December 29, 2016 for a vessel with a valid federal Black Sea Bass Pot Endorsement using pot gear the following restrictions apply:

1. It is unlawful to possess more than 1,180 pounds whole weight (1,000 pounds gutted weight) of black sea bass per trip.
2. It is unlawful to possess on board more than 35 pots when in possession of black sea bass.
3. It is unlawful to fail to remove all sea bass pots from the water and return the vessel to a dock, berth, beach, seawall or ramp at the conclusion of a trip.
4. From November 1-30 and April 1-30 each year, it is unlawful to use pots to harvest black sea bass in depths shallower than 25 meters.
5. From December 1 through March 31 each year, it is unlawful to use pots to harvest black sea bass in depths shallower than 30 meters.
6. It is unlawful to transit the seasonally prohibited areas described in (4) and (5) of this section without black sea bass pots appropriately stowed as described in 50 CFR §622.183(b)(6)(iii). Transit means non-stop progression through the area and appropriately stowed means all sea bass pots must be out of the water and on board the deck of the vessel, with buoys either disconnected from the pot or stowed within the sea bass pot.
7. Effective January 30, 2017, from September 1 through May 31 each year, it is unlawful to use pots to harvest black sea bass without a 12-inch wide purple band added onto the buoy line at the end of, and directly adjacent to, each of the currently required 12-inch colored marks required through the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan described in 50 CFR §229.32(b).

III. Groupers

A. It is unlawful to possess speckled hind, warsaw grouper, Nassau grouper, and goliath grouper.

B. It is unlawful to possess black grouper or gag grouper less than 24 inches total length.

C. It is unlawful to possess red grouper, yellowfin (fireback) grouper, yellowmouth grouper or scamp less than 20 inches total length.

D. It is unlawful to possess shallow water grouper species taken from the waters under the jurisdiction of North Carolina or the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council from January 1 through April 30.  Shallow water grouper species include gag grouper, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper and yellowmouth grouper.  It is unlawful to possess more than 1,000 pounds (gutted weight) of gag grouper per trip.

E. The snowy grouper commercial season will open January 1, 2017. It is unlawful to possess more than 200 pounds (gutted weight) of snowy grouper per trip.

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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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