IV. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-183; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103; 03I.0101 (l) and 03K .0301, .0302, .0303 and .0304.
B. It is unlawful to violate the 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. It is unlawful to use mechanical gear on private bottoms unless a permit is obtained pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03K .0303. Permits are available at no cost from all Division of Marine Fisheries License Offices.
D. All polluted shellfish areas and all established beds of aquatic vegetation shall remain closed to the mechanical harvest of clams.
E. The Division of Marine Fisheries shall place markers with green signs along the boundaries of referenced areas which will be considered the actual closure line. Unauthorized removal or relocation of any marker or sign shall not change the area opened, nor shall any such unauthorized removal or relocation or the absence of any marker or sign affect the applicability of any proclamation pertaining to any such body of water or portion thereof. Where there is conflict between markers or signs and maps, maps shall prevail.
F. When markers or signs delineating the boundaries of the mechanical harvest areas are removed, destroyed, or relocated to the degree that the lines are unenforceable, or when aerial surveys reveal flagrant violations as evidenced by bottom disturbance behind the lines, the Division shall close the affected water body for a period not less than one week. This time shall be used for restoration of the markers or signs and correcting the alignment of the harvest area.
G. Recent changes in N.C. General Statutes 113-168.2 and 113-169.2 require mechanical harvesters to hold a Standard Commercial Fishing License with a shellfish endorsement. Crewmembers working under the direction of a person who holds a valid Standard Commercial Fishing License with a shellfish endorsement are not required to hold a shellfish license.
H. Maps are provided to aid in the identification of the specified harvest areas. Maps do NOT supersede existing rules or supersede proclamations closing areas to harvest by reason of pollution. The military restricted areas and danger zones shown on the proclamation maps are closed to civilian access pursuant to federal rules 33 CFR 334.410 and 334.420. These closures render these areas unavailable for clam harvest.
November 20, 2013