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Adam B. Meyer, Esq. Maritime Insurance International 843.606.5270 Office 910.202.4308

M-3-2004

PROCLAMATION

RE: GILL NETS - ALBEMARLE SOUND MANAGEMENT AREA

Preston P. Pate, Jr., Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 6:00 P.M., Monday, February 9, 2004, the following provisions shall apply to the use of gill nets in the ALBEMARLE SOUND MANAGEMENT AREA.

I. AREA DEION

The Albemarle Sound Management Area as described in Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 3O .0503 (b) (2) (A) (ii).

II. COMMERCIAL NET RESTRICTIONS

Only gill nets meeting the specified mesh lengths shall be used in the areas identified below. A fishing operation, regardless of the number of vessels or persons involved, shall not use more than the lengths of gill nets specified for the following areas:

Albemarle Sound, Currituck Sound, Croatan Sound and Roanoke Sound

A. Gill nets with a mesh length of 3 ¼ inches shall not exceed 800 yards.

B. Gill nets with a mesh length of 3 ¾ and 4 inches may be used east of a line from Baum Point 35° 55.1602' N-75° 39.5736' W to Rhodoms Point 36° 00.2146' N- 75° 43.6399' W and east of a line from Eagleton Point 36° 01.3178' N- 75° 43.6585' W to Long Point 36° 02.4971'N-75° 44.2261' W at the mouth of Kitty Hawk Bay. Gill nets with a mesh length of 3 ¾ and 4 inches may also be used south of the Highway 64/264 bridge at Manns Harbor. Gill nets with a mesh length of 3 ¾ and 4 inches shall not exceed 800 yards.

C. The total amount of small mesh gill nets (3 ¼ inch, 3 ¾ inch, and 4 inch) used shall not exceed 800 yards in any combination. No other mesh sizes below 5 ¼ are allowed except those listed. Gill nets with a mesh length of 5 ¼ inches and larger described in II. D. and E. may not exceed 3,000 yards combined.

D. Gill nets with a mesh length of 5 ¼ inches and larger that are equipped with floats that do not exceed 2 inches in diameter and 6 inches in length placed a minimum of 10 yards apart, not to exceed 11 floats per 100 yards of net. Nets must not exceed 3,000 yards in length and must be set so as to fish on the bottom not to exceed a vertical height of 48 inches.

E. All gill nets with a mesh length of 5¼ inches and larger not meeting the criteria in Section II. D. for floats are required to be equipped with tie downs spaced no farther apart than 10 yards apart, restricting the vertical distance between the top and bottom lines to 48 inches or less. Nets must not exceed 3000 yards in length and must be set so as to fish on the bottom not to exceed a vertical height of 48 inches.

F. No gill nets may be used in the area southwest of a line from Black Walnut Point 35° 59.3833' N- 76° 41.0000'W; running 138° (M) to a point 35° 56.3333'N- 76° 36.0333' W at the mouth of Mackey's Creek, including Roanoke, Cashie, Middle and Eastmost river

III. DRIFT GILL NETS (To be used by Recreational Commercial Gear License Holders ONLY)

Only drift gill nets may be used in the joint waters of Roanoke, Middle, Eastmost, and Cashie rivers. Drift gill nets may also be used in the Chowan and Meherrin rivers with the following restrictions:

A. Only drift gill nets with a mesh length of 3 inches may be used. B. Only one drift gill net may be used per vessel. C. No more than 100 yards of drift gill nets may be used per vessel. D. All drift gill nets must be attended at all times.

IV. SEASON CLOSURE

The season for the use of commercial gear described in Section II. A., and B., and Section III.,but excluding Section II. D. and E., will close by proclamation at a later date.

V. RECREATIONAL NET RESTRICTIONS

The 100 yards of gill net allowed Recreational Commercial Gear License holders must adhere to the net configurations and mesh sizes in the waterbodies described in this proclamation for commercial fishing operations. Marine Fisheries Rule 3M .0513 limits the number of blueback herring and alewife taken for recreational purposes to 25 in the aggregate per person.

VI. GENERAL INFORMATION

A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of G.S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5;113-182; 113-221(e); 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 3H .0103 and 3J .0103, 3Q .0107(1)(c) and 3M .0513.

B. It is unlawful to violate provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority per 15A NCAC 3H .0103.

C. The intent of this proclamation is to allow directed fisheries for mullet, white perch, hickory shad and flounder while managing Albemarle Sound Management Area striped bass and river herring stocks within the quota established by the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan, the Albemarle Sound Area River Herring Fishery Management Plan, and controlling the bycatch of striped bass in directed gill net fisheries. This proclamation eliminates the use of 3 inch commercial gill nets.

D. The prohibition of the use of 2 1/2 inch drift gill nets in the Albemarle Sound River Herring Management Area from January 1 through May 15 was effective January 1, 2001, in order to comply with the recommendations of the Albemarle Sound Area River Herring Fishery Management Plan.

E. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation M-13-2003, dated December 10, 2003.

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Adam B. Meyer, Esq. Maritime Insurance International 843.606.5270 Office 910.202.4308

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