Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 6:00 A.M., Thursday, December 1, 2011, the season for the harvest of striped bass with beach seines in the Atlantic Ocean waters of North Carolina WILL OPEN. The following restrictions shall apply:
I. SIZE LIMIT
No person may possess, transport, buy, sell or offer for sale striped bass less than 28 inches total length taken from the Atlantic Ocean.
II. HARVEST RESTRICTIONS
A. It is unlawful to possess striped bass taken with a beach seine from the Atlantic Ocean without having an Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Gear Permit designated for the beach seine fishery.
B. It is unlawful for an Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Gear Permit beach seine permit holder to sell or possess more than 150 striped bass per calendar day. A beach seine crew shall consist of a maximum of four individuals. Striped bass exceeding the possession limit may be transferred to any holder of an Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Gear Permit, but will count against the beach seine portion of the quota.
C. For the purpose of this proclamation, a beach seine is defined as a swipe net constructed of multi-filament, multi-fiber webbing fished from the ocean beach that is deployed from a vessel launched from the ocean beach where the fishing operation takes place. One end of the beach seine shall be attached to shore at all times during the operation.
D. Beach seine operations are limited to seines and warp lines of no more than 1,400 yards in total length, of which the seine shall not exceed 1,200 yards in total length. Seines shall be constructed of stretched mesh size of 7 to 10 inches (inclusive) and shall be no more than 30 meshes deep. The length of the warp line on the offshore end of the seine shall not be restricted.
E. Beach seines shall be constructed of twine size no smaller than #9 (0.042 inches or 1.07 mm) in the wings and no smaller than #12 (0.046 inches or 1.17 mm) in the bunt section.
F. It is unlawful for the duration of a beach seine set to exceed four (4) hours from launching to retrieval (net in to net out).
G. It is unlawful to use monofilament webbing in any part of an ocean beach seine during the striped bass seasons established by proclamation.
III. SEASON CLOSURE
The Atlantic Ocean beach seine season for striped bass SHALL CLOSE by proclamation when the harvest allocation is reached.
IV. LANDING RESTRICTIONS
Striped bass harvested in this fishery may only be sold to and purchased by a dealer possessing a 2011/2012 STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Atlantic Ocean.
V. DEALER PERMITS
A. No finfish dealer may possess, buy, sell or offer for sale striped bass taken from the Atlantic Ocean without first obtaining a 2011/2012 STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Atlantic Ocean from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. Dealers must abide by all conditions of the STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT and the general permit conditions found in 15A NCAC 3O .0500 et seq.
C. Striped bass lawfully sold to a permitted dealer may be resold to a non-permitted wholesale or retail market provided the initial permitted dealer records their dealer identification number on each bill of lading or receipt involved in the shipment of striped bass. Any individual or corporation who holds a current finfish dealer license must obtain a STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Atlantic Ocean in order to sell any striped bass personally harvested.
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