II. GENERAL INFORMATION:
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-182; 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103; 03J .0104; 03L .0101 and .0202.
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 any bottom disturbing fishing gear on any shellfish lease or franchise unless it has been duly authorized by the Fisheries Director according to N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule15A NCAC 03O .0211 and in accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03O .0204(f), the Division has no duty to protect any shellfish bottom lease, franchise, or water column lease not marked according to N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03O .0204(a).
D. As specified in the Blue Crab FMP, N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03J .0104(b)(6) prohibits trawls in designated pot areas opened to the use of pots by N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03J .0301 (a)(2) and bound by the shoreline to the depth of six feet as described in the initial subparagraphs of N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03R .0107(a)(5), (a)(6), and (a)(7).
E. Hatched and blackened areas on the attached maps indicate those areas closed to shrimping and trawling except as noted in II.H.
F. The Division of Marine Fisheries will mark the areas to be opened with signs insofar as may be practical. No unauthorized removal or relocation of any such sign shall have the effect of changing the area opened, nor shall any such unauthorized removal or relocation or the absence of any sign affect the applicability of this proclamation. Where there is conflict between signs and maps, maps shall prevail.
G. Proclamation SH-3-2012, dated May 24, 2012, describes required Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs) to be used in shrimp trawls. Proclamation FF-55-2012, dated November 9, 2012 limits the amount of weakfish (100 pounds) that can be taken with shrimp or crab trawls.
H. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03L .0103 (c) describes the areas in which it is unlawful to use trawls with a combined headrope length greater than 90 feet (mouths of the Neuse and Pamlico rivers and all of Bay River). N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03R .0114 describes the lines in Pamlico, Pungo and Neuse rivers above which shrimp trawls are prohibited. Crab trawling, however, is still permitted in those areas. The closed area off Archer Creek in Bogue Sound has been expanded to protect sea grass beds.
May 30, 2013