RE: LARGE MESH GILL NETS: INTERNAL COASTAL WATERS
Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Monday, May 5, 2014 the following provisions shall apply to the use of large mesh gill nets in the Internal Coastal Waters:
I. AREA DESCRIPTION:
This proclamation applies to all internal coastal waters.
II. LARGE MESH GILL NETS AND SEASON CLOSURE RESTRICTIONS:
It is unlawful to use large mesh gill nets (defined as 4 inches through 6 ½ inches mesh length) in Internal Coastal Waters from Monday, May 5, 2014 through Saturday, May 31, 2014.
III. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G. S. 113-134; 113-182; 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103 and 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 as well as Standard and Retired Commercial Fishing Licenses holders.
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 observer program as an inspection procedure to obtain such data.
F. The small mesh gill net attendance requirements in N.C. Marine Commission Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03J .0103 (g) and (h), mesh length restrictions in 03J .0103(a)(2), navigational passage requirements in 03J .0101, as well as all other existing gill net rules and proclamations remain in effect.
G. Proclamation M-1-2014, dated January 16, 2014 prohibits the use of gill nets with a stretched mesh length more than 6 ½ inches.
H. For additional gill net restrictions in the Albemarle Sound Management Area please refer to the most recent M-type proclamations for that area.
I. The intent of this proclamation is to close the large mesh gill net fishery in all Internal Coastal Waters, to reduce anticipated excessive red drum discards.
J. 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 our website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/.
K. This proclamation supersedes Proclamations M-14-2014 and M-15-2014 dated April 10, 2014. It closes all Internal Coastal Waters to large mesh gill nets.
May 2, 2014