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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation SF-8-2015 REVISED

Marine Fisheries

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V. 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 N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103 and 03K .0302.

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. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03K .0111 requires a permit for the use of mechanical gear on private bottom. Permits are available, at no cost, from all N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries License Offices.

D. It is unlawful to possess or sell clams without a harvest tag affixed to each container in accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03K .0109.

E. It is unlawful to use mechanical methods to harvest clams in any established bed of submerged aquatic vegetation or saltwater cordgrass in accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03K .0108(b)(1).

F. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03N .0104 prohibits the use of mechanical methods to take oysters or clams in primary nursery areas.

G. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03K .0106 prohibits the taking and unloading of clams between the hours of sunset and sunrise on any day.

H. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03I .0101(3)(l) defines mechanical methods for clam harvest.

I. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03K .0305 exempts permitted aquaculture operations from bag and size limit restrictions.

J. 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 boundaries described in this proclamation, boundary descriptions shall prevail.

K. 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.

L. 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.

M. In accordance with Proclamation SS-1-2015:
1. It is unlawful to possess oysters or clams in a commercial fishing operation without a harvest tag recording the time of the start of harvest, and information as described in 15A NCAC 03K .0109, affixed to each container of oysters or clams. The time of the start of harvest shall be the time when the first oyster or clam is initially removed from the water.
2. It is unlawful for harvesters to fail to deliver oysters and clams harvested from Coastal Fishing Waters to a licensed shellfish dealer within 12 hours of the time of the start of harvest.
N. 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.

O. The intent of this proclamation is to open the season to the commercial harvest of clams by mechanical methods from public bottom in accordance with the N.C. Hard Clam Fishery Management Plan Amendment 1.

P. 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/

Q. This proclamation supersedes SF-8-2015, dated November 24, 2015. It makes a correction in Section IV. A. from yards to feet. This proclamation contains no other changes.

December 9, 2015
7:30 A.M.
SF-8-2015 (REVISED)

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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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