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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation M-02-2018

Marine Fisheries

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VII. GENERAL INFORMATION

A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-182; 113-221.1; and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03J .0103.

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 restrictions in this proclamation apply to gill nets used by Recreational Commercial Gear License holders except the allowed yardage in Sections II. and III. The allowed yardage for Recreational Commercial Gear License holders is described in N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03O .0302.

D. Proclamation M-3-2014, dated February 3, 2014 prohibits the setting of gill nets in the Joint Fishing Waters of the state from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday each week. Portions of Albemarle and Currituck sounds are exempt from that provision.

E. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03I .0113 specifies that it is unlawful for any licensee under Chapter 113, Subchapter IV of the General Statutes to refuse to allow the Fisheries Director or his agents to obtain biological data, harvest information, or other statistical data necessary or useful to the conservation and management of marine and estuarine resources from fish in the licensee’s possession. The Division of Marine Fisheries has implemented an Estuarine Gill Net Permit and an observer program as an inspection procedure to obtain such data.

F. The Division of Marine Fisheries has received Federal Incidental Take Permits (ITP) for certain threatened or endangered sea turtles, and endangered Atlantic sturgeon. These ITPs allow the legal continuation of the inshore gill net fisheries in North Carolina, subject to permit conditions. The ITP conditions are designed to avoid, minimize and mitigate interactions with these species. Permit conditions require the division to provide 7-10 percent observer coverage in the large mesh anchored gill net fishery and 1-2 percent observer coverage in the small mesh anchored gill net fishery in internal coastal waters. If the required coverage is not maintained, large and small mesh anchored gill nets could be prohibited in all Internal Coastal Waters.

G. The intent of this proclamation is to implement gill net restrictions that allow directed fisheries for various species including American shad, mullet, white perch, catfish and flounder while minimizing discards of river herring and undersized striped bass and interactions with threatened and/or endangered species.

H. Proclamation M-24-2014 dated July 31, 2014 requires holders of a Standard Commercial Fishing License (SCFL), Retired Standard Commercial Fishing License (RSCFL), or Recreational Commercial Gear License (RCGL) who deploy gill nets in Internal Coastal Waters with an exception for run around, strike, drop or drift gill nets, to possess a valid Estuarine Gill Net Permit issued by the Division of Marine Fisheries.

I. Proclamation M-1-2014, dated January 16, 2014 prohibits the use of gill nets with a stretched mesh length greater than 6 ½ inches.

J. In accordance with FF-3-2016 it is unlawful to possess flounder in Internal Coastal Waters taken from anchored large mesh gill nets with a stretched mesh length less than 6 inches. In accordance with FF-4-2017 it is unlawful for Recreational Commercial Gear License holders to possess flounder in anchored large mesh gill nets with a stretched mesh length less than 6 inches. These regulations are implemented in accordance with Supplement A to Amendment 1 of the N.C. Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. See listed proclamations for full details.

K. 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.

L. 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 www.ncmarinefisheries.net.

M. This Proclamation supersedes proclamation M-24-2017 dated December 22, 2017. It opens all of Management Unit A to the use of gill nets and allows gill net configurations for harvesting American shad by removing vertical height restrictions for up to 1,000 yards of gill net with stretched mesh lengths of 5 ¼ through 6 ½ inches. This proclamation also implements additional gill net restrictions for Management Subunit A-South of US-64-BYP/US-64, in accordance with the Sea Turtle and Atlantic Sturgeon ITPs.

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Stephen W. Murphey, Director
DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES, DEQ

February 23, 2018
11:06 A.M.
M-2-2017

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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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