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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation M-11-2016

Marine Fisheries

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M-11-2016

PROCLAMATION

RE: RULE SUSPENSION - BLUE CRAB ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT MEASURES

Braxton C. Davis, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective on the dates below the following shall apply to the harvest of blue crabs:

I. SUSPENSION OF PORTIONS OF N.C. MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION RULES 15A NCAC, 03L .0201, 03L .0203, AND 03J .0301

The following portion of North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03L .0201 is suspended effective at 12:01 A.M., Monday, June 6, 2016:

Sections (a) and (b), which read:
(a) It is unlawful to possess more than 10 percent by number in any container, male and immature female hard blue crabs less than five inches from tip of spike to tip of spike and to fail to return hard blue crabs not meeting this restriction to the waters from which taken, except the Fisheries Director may, by proclamation authority established in Paragraph (f) of this Rule, further restrict the harvest of blue crabs. All blue crabs not sorted into containers as specified in Paragraph (b) of this Rule shall be deemed hard blue crabs for the purpose of establishing the 10 percent culling tolerance.
(b) It is unlawful to possess blue crabs less than five inches from tip of spike to tip of spike unless individual crabs are sorted to and placed in separate containers for each of the following categories:
(1) soft crabs;
(2) pink and red-line peeler crabs;
(3) white-line peeler crabs; and
(4) from March 1 through October 31, male crabs to be used as peeler crab bait.

The following portion of North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03L .0203 is suspended effective at 12:01 A.M., Monday, June 6, 2016:

Section (a), which reads:
(a) It is unlawful to take crabs with dredges except:
(1) from January 1 through March 1 in the area of Pamlico Sound described in 15A NCAC 03R .0109; and
(2) incidental to lawful oyster dredging operations in areas not subject to the exception in Subparagraph (a)(1) of this Rule provided the weight of the crabs shall not exceed:
(A) 50 percent of the total weight of the combined oyster and crab catch; or
(B) 500 pounds, whichever is less.

The following portion of North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03J .0301 is suspended effective at 12:01 A.M., Sunday, January 15, 2017:

Sections (g), which reads:
(g) It is unlawful to use crab pots in Coastal Fishing Waters unless each pot contains no less than two unobstructed escape rings that are at least two and five-sixteenths inches inside diameter and located in the opposite outside panels of the upper chamber of the pot, except the following are exempt from the escape ring requirements:
(1) unbaited pots;
(2) pots baited with a male crab; and
(3) pots set in areas and during time periods described in 15A NCAC 03R .0118.
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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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