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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation M-23-2016

Marine Fisheries

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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 Rules 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 threatened and/or endangered 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-4-2016 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-21-2016, dated October 13, 2016. This proclamation opens additional portions of central and eastern Albemarle Sound in Management Unit A to the use of gill nets with a stretched mesh size of 5 ½ through 6 ½ inches. It maintains small mesh gill net attendance throughout all open areas of Management Unit A, and maintains openings for the Currituck Sound and portions of western and central Albemarle Sound and tributaries in Management Unit A to the use of gill nets with a stretched mesh size of 5 ½ through 6 ½ inches. It maintains a gill net closure for portions of Croatan and Roanoke Sounds (Section I.B.) except for gill nets described in Section IV. This action is being taken in order to allow directed gill net fisheries for various species and to minimize interactions with threatened and/or endangered sea turtles.

Braxton signature




Braxton C. Davis, Director
DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES

October 28, 2016
1:00 P.M.
M-23-2016

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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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