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December 16, 2017 1:10 pm EST
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This proclamation opens the Atlantic Ocean commercial flounder season, sets the December harvest period and establishes a 13,500 pound possession limit and a 6,500 pound offload limit. The fishery will close by proclamation once the annual North Carolina quota is reached or December 31, 2017, whichever occurs first.

Braxton C. Davis, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Monday, December 4, 2017, the following restrictions shall apply to the Atlantic Ocean commercial flounder fishery:

I. HARVEST PERIOD AND LIMITS

A. During the period beginning at 12:01 A.M., Monday, December 4, 2017 and ending at 6:00 P.M., Sunday, December 31, 2017, it is unlawful for a commercial fishing operation, regardless of the number of people involved,to possess more than 13,500 pounds of flounder taken from the Atlantic Ocean and offload more than 6,500 pounds of flounder taken from the Atlantic Ocean.

B. The Atlantic Ocean flounder fishery will close by proclamation once the quota has been reached, or at 6:00 P.M., December 31, 2017, whichever occurs first. 

II. GENERAL INFORMATION

A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-134; 113- 170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03M .0503 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. In accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03I .0101 (5)(e) fish shall be considered landed when the fish reach the shore or structure connected to the shore. 

D. In accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03M .0503 (c) (1) it is unlawful to land more than 100 pounds per trip of flounder taken from the Atlantic Ocean unless the vessel has been issued a License to Land Flounder from the Atlantic Ocean. This is in addition to the normally required licenses.

E. In accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03M .0503 (c) (2) it is unlawful for a fish dealer to purchase or offload more than 100 pounds of flounder taken from the Atlantic Ocean by a vessel that has not first produced a valid License to Land Flounder from the Atlantic Ocean.

F. In accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03I .0113 it is unlawful for any licensee under Chapter 113, Subchapter IV of the General Statutes to refuse to allow the Fisheries Director or his agents to obtain biological data, harvest information, or other statistical data necessary or useful to the conservation and management of marine and estuarine resources from fish in the licensee’s possession.

G. In accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03O .0503 (b)(4) it is unlawful for fish dealers to allow vessels holding a valid License to Land Flounder from the Atlantic Ocean to land more than 100 pounds of flounder without first obtaining an Atlantic Ocean Flounder Dealer Permit. 

H. The intent of this proclamation is to establish harvest periods and limits for the taking of flounder from the Atlantic Ocean to assure that the quota allocated to North Carolina in the joint Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council/Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Fishery Management Plan for Summer Flounder is not exceeded. 

I. Atlantic Ocean Flounder Dealer Permits are available at no cost from all Division of Marine Fisheries License Office. 

J. 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 www.ncmarinefisheries.net.

K. In accordance with N.C. General Statute 113-221.1(c) All persons who may be affected by proclamations issued by the Fisheries Director are under a duty to keep themselves informed of current proclamations.

L. This proclamation opens the Atlantic Ocean commercial flounder season, sets the December harvest period and establishes a 13,500 pound possession limit and a 6,500 pound offload limit. The fishery will close by proclamation once the annual North Carolina quota is reached or December 31, 2017, whichever occurs first.

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