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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation SF-04-2017

Marine Fisheries

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SF-4-2017

PROCLAMATION

RE : 2017-2018 OYSTER HAND HARVEST RESTRICTIONS

This proclamation opens the season for harvest of oysters by hand methods in Internal Coastal Waters and reflects harvest limits by license type in accordance with the N.C. Oyster Fishery Management Plan Amendment 4.

Braxton C. Davis, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at sunrise, Sunday, October 15, 2017, the following restrictions shall apply to the oyster fishery in Internal Coastal Waters:

I. HARVEST RESTRICTIONS

A. MEANS AND METHODS
1. Oysters may be taken by hand and hand operated implements only (excluding dredges pulled by hand except as described below in (5)). See General Information Section III. for further gear restrictions.
2. It is unlawful to transfer oysters from the catching vessel to any other vessel during oyster harvesting operations or to transport oysters by any vessel other than the vessel in which they were harvested.
3. It is unlawful to possess commercial and recreational limits of oysters aboard the same vessel.
4. It is unlawful to sell oysters taken on Saturday and Sunday from public bottom.
5. It is unlawful to pull a dredge by hand to take oysters except in an area that is open for mechanical harvest of oysters.
B. HARVEST DAYS - Oyster harvest will be allowed Monday through Friday of each week except as provided in Section I.E. below.

C. STANDARD COMMERCIAL FISHING LICENSE HARVEST LIMITS
1. It is unlawful for persons holding a Standard Commercial Fishing License with an endorsement to sell shellfish to take or possess more than five (5) bushels of oysters per day and shall not exceed a total of ten (10) bushels in any combined commercial fishing operation, regardless of the number of persons holding a Standard Commercial Fishing License with an endorsement to sell shellfish or vessels that may be involved, in Internal Coastal Waters, in the following area:
South and west of a line beginning at a point 35°00.1000’ N - 76°14.8667’ W near Hog Island Reef; running easterly to a point 34°58.7853’ N - 76°09.8922’ W on Core Banks; and east of Highway 12 bridge at Thorofare Bay and north of Highway 70 bridge at Salter’s Creek and south of the Highway 101 bridges on Core and Harlowe creeks.
2. It is unlawful for persons holding a Standard Commercial Fishing License with an endorsement to sell shellfish to take or possess more than fifteen (15) bushels in any combined commercial fishing operation, regardless of the number of persons holding a Standard Commercial Fishing License with an endorsement to sell shellfish or vessels that may be involved in Internal Coastal Waters, in the following area except as specified in Section II. below:
North and east of a line beginning at a point 35°00.1000’ N - 76°14.8667’ W near Hog Island Reef; running easterly to a point 34°58.7853’ N - 76°09.8922’ W on Core Banks; and east of Highway 12 bridge at Thorofare Bay, north of Highway 70 bridge at Salter’s Creek and north of the Highway 101 bridges on Core and Harlowe creeks.
3. It is unlawful for persons holding a Standard Commercial Fishing License with an endorsement to sell shellfish to take or possess more than five (5) bushels of oysters per day and shall not exceed a total of seven (7) bushels per vessel in any combined commercial fishing operation, if others in the combined fishing operation hold a Shellfish License regardless of the number of Shellfish License holders onboard the vessel that may be involved, in Internal Coastal Waters statewide.
D. SHELLFISH LICENSE HARVEST LIMITS
It is unlawful for persons holding a Shellfish License to take or possess more than two (2) bushels of oysters per day and shall not exceed a total of four (4) bushels per vessel in any combined commercial fishing operation, regardless of the number of persons holding a Shellfish License onboard the vessel in Internal Coastal Waters statewide.

E. RECREATONAL HARVEST LIMITS
It is unlawful for unlicensed persons and harvesters taking oysters for personal consumption to take or possess more than one (1) bushel of oysters per person per day not to exceed two (2) bushels per vessel per day for recreational purposes seven days a week in Internal Coastal Waters (see A.3. above).

F. MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT - It is unlawful to possess oysters less than three (3) inches shell length for oysters taken on public or private grounds (see General Information III.D.).
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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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