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-25-2013, dated September 3, 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.
November 22, 2013