RE: HORSESHOE CRABS – COMMERCIAL FISHING OPERATIONS
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that the commercial horseshoe crab fishery will open effective 12:01 A.M, Friday, January 1, 2016 and the following restrictions will apply:
I. HARVEST RESTRICTIONS
A. During the period beginning at 12:01 A.M., Friday, January 1, 2016 and ending at 11:59 P.M. Saturday, April 30, 2016 it is unlawful to take or possess more than 50 horseshoe crabs per fishing operation per day, regardless of the number of persons or vessels involved.
B. Effective May 1, 2016 it is unlawful to possess horseshoe crabs taken in a commercial fishing operation.
II. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C. General Statutes 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and NC Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103 and 15A NCAC 03L .0207.
B. In accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103 it is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority.
C. 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.
D. The intent of this proclamation is to allow North Carolina to comply with the requirements of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for Horseshoe Crab. North Carolina is operating under a state quota and these trip limits and harvest periods are meant to constrain the harvest of horseshoe crabs to the quota.
E. 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://ncmarinefisheries.net/
F. In accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03L .0207, this proclamation opens the commercial horseshoe crab fishery and establishes the daily harvest limit. The season for the commercial horseshoe crab fishery will close by this proclamation at 11:59 P.M on Saturday, April 30, 2016.
December 8, 2015