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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation M-20-2017

Marine Fisheries

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IV. GEAR EXEMPTIONS AND RESTRICTIONS FOR RUN-AROUND, STRIKE, DROP, TRAMMEL AND DRIFT GILL NETS

A. Exempted gear definitions (including trammel gill nets):
1. Runaround, strike, drop or trammel gill nets - gill nets that are set and then are immediately retrieved.
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.
B. It is unlawful to use drift gill nets in the Joint Fishing Waters of the Roanoke, Middle, Eastmost, Cashie, Chowan and Meherrin rivers and all other joint water tributaries of the Albemarle Sound Management Area as defined in N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15 NCAC 03R. 0201.

C. It is unlawful to use run-around, strike, drift, drop and trammel gill nets with a stretched mesh length other than 3 ¼ inches, EXCEPT, in the area of Management Unit A south of a line beginning at a point 35° 53.1720’ N – 75° 45.6160’ W on the mainland shore near Manns Harbor; running easterly along the south side of the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge (Hwy 64 Bypass), continuing easterly along the south side of the Washington Baum Bridge (Hwy 64) to a point ending at 35° 54.3820’ N – 75° 35.9240’ W on the Outer Banks shore, run-around, strike, drift, drop and trammel gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 3 ¼ inches through 4 inches may be used.

D. It is unlawful to use more than 800 yards of gill net with a stretched mesh length of 3 inches through 4 inches in any combination per commercial fishing operation.

V. 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 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 Section III. and IV. The allowed yardage for Recreational Commercial Gear License holders is described in N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03O .0302 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 Division of Marine Fisheries has received Federal Incidental Take (ITP) permits for certain threatened or endangered sea turtles, and endangered Atlantic sturgeon. These ITPs allow 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 statewide.

G. The intent of this proclamation is to manage allowable gill nets in Management Unit A while minimizing interactions with endangered or threatened 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 the exception of run around, strike, drop or drift gill nets, to possess a valid Estuarine Gill Net Permit issued by the Division of Marine Fisheries.

I. 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.

J. 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.

K. 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.

L. This Proclamation supersedes proclamation M-18-2017 dated October 27, 2017. In Management Unit A, it closes the Albemarle Sound proper to the use of gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 5 ½ inches through 6 ½ inches, and allows the use of unattended, anchored small mesh gill nets (legal gill nets with a stretched mesh of 4 inches and smaller). Both anchored small mesh gill nets and gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 5 ½ inches through 6 ½ inches must be set to fish the bottom of the water column and not to exceed a vertical height of 48 inches. This action is being taken to allow various directed gill net fisheries while minimizing interactions with endangered Atlantic sturgeon.

 

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Braxton C. Davis, Director
DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES

November 29, 2017
10:37 A.M.
M-20-2017

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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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