VI. CLOSED AREA DESCRIPTIONS
A. It is unlawful to use large mesh gill nets (defined as 4 inches to 6½ inches stretched mesh, inclusive) in the area described below from May 8 through October 14, 2013:
SOUTHERN CORE SOUND, BACK SOUND, THE STRAITS, NORTH RIVER AND TRIBUTARIES –The area bound in the north by a line at latitude 34° 48.2660’ N which runs approximately from the Club House on Core Banks westerly to a point on the shore at Davis near Marker “1”, bound in the west by a line at longitude 76° 36.9972’ W, which runs northerly from a point on Shackleford Banks to Lennoxville Point, then to the head of Turner Creek, and northerly up the western side of North River, and bound in the east by the COLREGS demarcation line at Barden Inlet including southern Core Sound, Back Sound, The Straits, North River and all tributaries.
B. It is unlawful to use large mesh gill nets (defined as 4 inches to 6½ inches stretched mesh, inclusive) in the area described below:
INTERNAL COASTAL FISHING WATERS SOUTH OF THE HIGHWAY 58 (CAMERON LANGSTON) 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; then running west and south to the North Carolina/South Carolina border.
C. It is unlawful to use large mesh gill nets (defined as 4 inches to 6½ inches stretched mesh, inclusive) in the area described below:
PAMLICO SOUND/NORTHERN CORE SOUND- an area encompassing all internal coastal fishing waters south of latitude 35° 46.3000’N, east of longitude 76°30.0000’W, and north of latitude 34°48.2660’N.
VII. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G. S. 113-134; 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103 and 03J .0101 and .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. Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. The intent of this proclamation is to implement gill net restrictions while the Division applies for a statewide incidental take permit from NMFS under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act.
D. 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.
E. The small mesh gill net attendance requirements in N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03J .0103 (g), size restrictions in 03J .0103(a)(2), the navigational passage requirements in 03J .0101, as well as all other existing gill net rules and proclamations remain in effect.
F. 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.
G. Proclamation M-5-2013, dated February 21, 2013 prohibits the use of gill nets with a stretched mesh length more than 6 ½ inches.
H. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation M-23-2013, dated August 27, 2013. It extends the closure for large mesh gill nets in Pamlico Sound and northern Core Sound and the internal coastal fishing waters from the Highway 58 Bridge to the North Carolina/South Carolina border to minimize sea turtle interactions and because the sea turtle incidental take permit for the internal waters gill net fisheries has not been issued yet by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
September 3, 2013