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April 25, 2017 10:10 am EDT
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KING AND SPANISH MACKEREL
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 @ 16:07:37 EDT

KING AND SPANISH MACKEREL

Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01A.M., Wednesday, July 16, 2014, the following restrictions will apply to the king and Spanish mackerel fisheries:

I.    SPANISH MACKEREL

A.   It is unlawful to sell or offer for sale Spanish mackerel harvested in or from the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in a commercial fishing operation without a valid National Marine Fisheries Service Commercial Spanish Mackerel Vessel Permit.   

B.   It is unlawful for charter vessels or headboats with both a valid National Marine Fisheries Service Atlantic Charter/Headboat Coastal Migratory Pelagics Permit and a valid National Marine Fisheries Service Commercial Spanish Mackerel Vessel Permit to sell or offer for sale Spanish mackerel harvested in or from the EEZ when fishing with more than three persons (including captain and mate) onboard. 

II.   KING MACKEREL

A.   It is unlawful to sell or offer for sale king mackerel harvested by hook-and-line in a commercial fishing operation without a valid National Marine Fisheries Service Commercial King Mackerel Vessel Permit. 

B.   It is unlawful for charter vessels or headboats with both a valid National Marine Fisheries Service Atlantic Charter/Headboat Coastal Migratory Pelagics Permit and a valid National Marine Fisheries Service Commercial King Mackerel Vessel Permit to sell or offer for sale king mackerel harvested when fishing with more than three persons (including captain and mate) onboard. 

C.   It is unlawful to sell or offer for sale king mackerel harvested or possessed under the recreational bag limits unless the vessel owner has been issued a National Marine Fisheries Service Commercial King Mackerel Permit. 

III.  RECREATIONAL TOURNAMENT SALES

   King and Spanish mackerel harvested as part of a permitted recreational fishing tournament may be sold in accordance with N.C.G.S. 113-168.4(c) and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission rule 15A NCAC 03O .0102. 

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-                            221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103, 03M         .0301   and 03M .0512.

    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.   The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved an amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagics prohibiting the sale of king and Spanish mackerel caught under the bag limit without a valid federal commercial permit.  This prohibition on sale also applies to charter vessels and headboats that hold both valid federal charter/headboat and commercial permits, when operating as a charter.  An exemption was made to allow sale of fish from state-permitted recreational fishing tournaments that donate all money from the sale to charity.  The amendment also eliminates the income qualification requirements for commercial king and Spanish mackerel vessel permits. The amendment and final rule implementing the regulations is located at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/cmp/2014/am20a/index.html.

    D.   The provisions of N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03M .0301 remain in effect.

    E.   Vessels holding both a valid National Marine Fisheries Service Atlantic Charter/Headboat Coastal Migratory Pelagics Permit and either a valid National Marine Fisheries Service Commercial Spanish Mackerel Vessel Permit OR Commercial King Mackerel Vessel Permit are considered to be operating as a charter boat/headboat when fishing with three or more persons (including captain and mate) onboard (see 50 CFR § 622.2).

    F.   The federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is defined as waters of the Atlantic Ocean from three to 200 miles seaward of the shoreline. 

G.   Contact the 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://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/.

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