RE: RULE SUSPENSION - GILL NET RESTRICTIONS: INTERNAL COASTAL WATERS
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Monday, June 8, 2015, the following provisions shall apply to the use of gill nets south of Management Unit A:
I. SUSPENSION OF A PORTION OF MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION RULE 15A NCAC 03J .0103
The following portion of N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03J .0103 is suspended:
Section (i) (1), which reads:
(i) For gill nets with a mesh length five inches or greater, it is unlawful:
(1) To use more than 3,000 yards of gill net per vessel in internal waters regardless of the number of individuals involved.
The provisions below in this proclamation shall be complied with at all times.
II. AREA DESCRIPTIONS (Map 1):
It is unlawful to use gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 4 inches through 6 ½ inches in Internal Coastal Waters except those described below (areas not listed below remain closed to gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 4 inches through 6 ½ inches):
A. Management Unit C: Pamlico, Pungo, Bay and Neuse river drainages and Internal Coastal Waters of Pamlico Sound west of 76° 30.0000’ W.
B. Management Unit D2: all Internal Coastal Waters west of a line running from 34° 40.6750’ N – 76° 37.0000’ W to 34° 42.4800’ N – 76° 37.0000’ W then to the head of Turner Creek, and northerly up the western shoreline of the North River; and east of the NC Hwy 58 Bridge. Management Unit D2 includes Newport River (including the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and Harlowe Creek up to NC Hwy 101 Bridge) and Bogue Sound.
C. Management Unit E: all Internal Coastal Waters south and west of the Highway 58 Bridge to the North Carolina/South Carolina state line. This includes the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and adjacent sounds and the New, Cape Fear, Lockwood Folly, White Oak, and Shallotte Rivers.
III. GEAR EXEMPTIONS AND RESTRICTIONS FOR RUN-AROUND, STRIKE, DROP, AND DRIFT GILL NETS
A. Exempted gear definitions:
1. Runaround, strike, or drop gill nets - gill nets that are set and then are immediately retrieved. B. It is unlawful to use run-around, strike, drift, and drop gill nets with a stretched mesh length 5 inches and greater.
2. Drift gill nets - gill nets that are used to capture fish while being moved along by water currents and the net being actively fished and attended from deployment through retrieval.
C. It is unlawful to use or possess more than 800 yards of run-around, strike, and drop gill net per commercial fishing operation.
D. It is unlawful to use or possess more than 2,000 yards of drift gill net per commercial fishing operation.
E. Run-around, strike, drop, and drift gill nets are exempt from the restrictions specified in Sections IV., V. and VII.