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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Public Hearing on Proposed Rules NR-31-2011

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: (252) 726-7021
Date: Aug. 1, 2011

Fisheries Commission to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Rules

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Sept. 14 on four proposed fisheries rules. The hearing will be held at the division’s Central District Office, 5285 Highway 70 West in Morehead City.

The proposals include establishing a new rule, 15A NCAC 03O .0114, that changes the schedule for suspension, revocation and reissuance of fishing licenses. The N.C. General Assembly passed a law in 2010 directing the Marine Fisheries Commission to adopt such rules.

The changes are necessary to provide a fairer method for suspension and revocation of licenses.

The current system often treats minor violations the same as major violations.  For example, a violation of rules pertaining to gear identification (buoy markings) is equal to that of using prohibited gear in a primary nursery area. Additionally, the current system does not provide for the suspension, revocation and reissuance of Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses.

Under the proposal, non-resource-related violations will not count toward the suspension or revocation of a license.  There are 24 violations that are considered non-resource violations. They include improperly marked buoys or failure to notify the division of a change of address. Also, the new system will treat recreational violations the same as commercial.

Tables 1 and 2 below show the current suspension and revocation schedule as compared to the proposed schedule for violations occurring within a three year period.

Table 1
Suspension and Revocation Schedule

Current

Proposed

2 Convictions = 10-Day Suspension

2 Convictions = 30-Day Suspension

3 Convictions = 30-Day Suspension

3 Convictions = 90-Day Suspension

4 or Subsequent Convictions = 6-Month Revocation

4  or Subsequent Convictions = 1-Year Revocation


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