RE: LARGE MESH GILL NETS: INTERNAL COASTAL WATERS
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 9:00 A.M., Thursday, July 14, 2011, the following provisions shall apply to the use of large mesh gill nets:
I. SUSPENSION OF PORTION OF MARINE FISHERIES RULE 15A NCAC 03J .0103
The following portion of Marine Fisheries Rules for Coastal Waters 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. EXEMPTED AREAS
A. This proclamation applies to all internal coastal waters except for Albemarle and Currituck sounds and their tributaries described as follows:
1. In Albemarle Sound, the restrictions do not apply north and west of a line beginning at a point 35º 57.5590’N - 75º 56.8200’ W at the northwestern point of Durant Island; running northeasterly to a point 36º 04.8280’N - 75º 47.4050’W near Point Harbor.
2. In Currituck Sound, the restrictions do not apply north of the Highway 158 Wright Memorial Bridge beginning at a point on the western shore at 36º 04.8280’N - 75º 47.4050’W near Point Harbor; running easterly along the south side of the bridge to a point on the east shore at 36º 05.5770’N - 75º 44.5850’W.
III. EXEMPTION FOR RUN-AROUND, STRIKE OR DROP NETS
A run-around, strike or drop net that is used to surround a school of fish and then is immediately retrieved is exempted from the restrictions in this proclamation.
IV. GILL NET CONSTRUCTION AND USE REQUIREMENTS
It is unlawful to use large mesh gill nets (defined as 4 inches to 6½ inches stretched mesh, inclusive) unless they comply with the following provisions:
A. It is unlawful to use large mesh gill nets of more than 15 meshes in height and without a lead core or leaded bottomline. It is unlawful to use cork, floats, or other buoys except those required for identification except that floats are allowed south of the Highway 58 bridge, beginning at a point on the north shore at 34° 40.7848’N - 77° 04.0273’W; running southerly to a point on the south shore at 34° 39.8620’N – 77° 03.7438’W.
B. It is unlawful to use or possess more than 2,000 yards of large mesh gill net per vessel north of the Highway 58 bridge (coordinates above) and it is unlawful to use or possess more than 1,000 yards of large mesh gill net per vessel south of the Highway 58 bridge.
C. It is unlawful to set more than 100 yards of large mesh gill net without leaving a space of at least 25 yards between separate lengths of net.