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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation M-26-2014

Marine Fisheries

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M-26-2014

PROCLAMATION

RE: GILL NETS – ALBEMARLE SOUND AREA- MANAGEMENT UNIT A

Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 3:30 P.M., Thursday, September 4, 2014, the following provisions shall apply to the use of gill nets in the following areas:

I. MANAGEMENT UNIT A DESCRIPTION
Management Unit A encompasses all Joint and Coastal Fishing waters north of 35° 46.30’N to the North Carolina/Virginia state line. This includes all of Albemarle, Currituck, Croatan and Roanoke sounds and their tributaries.

II. GILL NET ATTENDANCE, MESH AND CONFIGURATION RESTRICTIONS
Only gill nets meeting the specified mesh lengths and net configurations may be used in the described management unit. A fishing operation, regardless of the number of vessels or persons involved, shall adhere to the gill net restrictions specified:

1. It is unlawful to use gill nets with a mesh length less than 3 inches.

2. It is unlawful to use gill nets with a mesh length greater than 4 inches and less than 5 ½ inches.

3. Gill nets with a mesh length 3 inches through 4 inches must be attended at all times.

4. It is unlawful to use gill nets with a mesh length greater than 6 ½ inches.

5. It is unlawful to use gill nets with a mesh length of 5 ½ inches through 6 ½ inches unless the nets are:
a. equipped with tie downs spaced no farther apart than 10 yards, restricting the vertical distance
between the top and bottom lines to 48 inchesor less; or

b. equipped with floats that do not exceed 2 inches in diameter and 6 inches in length placed a
minimum of 10 yards apart, not to exceed 11 floats per 100 yards of net; and

c. set so as to fish the bottom not to exceed a vertical height of 48 inches.
6. It is unlawful to fail to actively fish gill net sets with a mesh length of 5 ½ inches through 6 ½ inches at least once during a 24 hour period no later than noon each day.

7. It is unlawful to use gill nets in the area southwest of a line from Black Walnut Point 35° 59.3833’N - 76° 41.0060’W; running southeasterly to a point 35° 56.3333’N - 76° 36.0333’W at the mouth of Mackey’s Creek, including Roanoke, Cashie, Middle and Eastmost Rivers.

III. GILL NET YARDAGE RESTRICTIONS
Only gill nets complying with the following yardage restrictions may be used in the described management unit. A fishing operation, regardless of the number of vessels or persons involved, shall adhere to the gill net yardage restrictions specified:

A. It is unlawful to use more than 800 yards of gill net with a mesh length of 3 through 4 inches in any combination.

B. It is unlawful to use more than 2,000 yards of gill net with a mesh length of 5 ½ through 6 ½ inches.

IV. DRIFT GILL NETS
It is unlawful to use drift gill nets in the Joint Fishing Waters portion 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.

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. 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.

D. 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 internal coastal waters statewide.

E. The intent of this proclamation is to implement gill net restrictions that allow directed fisheries for various species including mullet, white perch and flounder while minimizing discards of striped bass and interactions with endangered species in Management Unit A.

F. 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 http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/

G. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation M-25-2014, dated August 29, 2014.It opens the southeastern portion of Management Unit A including eastern Albemarle Sound, Croatan and Roanoke Sounds to the use of gill nets 5 ½ inches through 6 ½ inches.

September 2, 2014
3:30 P.M.
M-26-2014

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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