NOAA Fisheries Service Announces Closure Date for the Harvest of South Atlantic

NOAA Fisheries Service Announces Closure Date for the Harvest of South Atlantic Recreational Black Sea Bass

NOAA Fisheries Service has determined that the 2012-2013 recreational annual catch limit of 409,000 pounds for black sea bass has been reached. As a result, the recreational sector for black sea bass in federal waters of the South Atlantic from 35°15.19′ N. latitude, (the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, North Carolina) to Key West, Florida, will close, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) September 4, 2012, through 12:01 a.m. June 1, 2013.

For vessels with a valid federal charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic Snapper-grouper, the closure applies to state and federal waters. The operator of a vessel that has a federal for-hire permit for snapper-grouper must land any black sea bass harvested from either state or federal waters prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, September 4, 2012.

Black sea bass are experiencing overfishing (rate of removal is too high). For the 2012-2013 fishing year the commercial annual catch limit is 309,000 pounds and the recreational annual catch limit is 409,000 pounds. Harvest levels must be kept below these levels to prevent fish from being removed too quickly, and to rebuild the black sea bass population.

NOAA Fisheries Service Announces Closure Date for the Harvest of South Atlantic Recreational Black Sea Bass

NOAA Fisheries Service has determined that the 2012-2013 recreational annual catch limit of 409,000 pounds for black sea bass has been reached. As a result, the recreational sector for black sea bass in federal waters of the South Atlantic from 35°15.19′ N. latitude, (the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, North Carolina) to Key West, Florida, will close, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) September 4, 2012, through 12:01 a.m. June 1, 2013.

For vessels with a valid federal charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic Snapper-grouper, the closure applies to state and federal waters. The operator of a vessel that has a federal for-hire permit for snapper-grouper must land any black sea bass harvested from either state or federal waters prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, September 4, 2012.

Black sea bass are experiencing overfishing (rate of removal is too high). For the 2012-2013 fishing year the commercial annual catch limit is 309,000 pounds and the recreational annual catch limit is 409,000 pounds. Harvest levels must be kept below these levels to prevent fish from being removed too quickly, and to rebuild the black sea bass population.

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What is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)?

The global conveyor belt, shown here, circulates cool subsurface water and warm surface water throughout the world. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is part of this complex system of global ocean currents.)

The ocean’s water is constantly circulated by currents. Tidal currents occur close to shore and are influenced by the sun and moon. Surface currents are influenced by the wind. However, other, much slower currents that occur from the surface to the seafloor are driven by changes in the saltiness and ocean temperature, a process called thermohaline circulation. These currents are carried in a large “global conveyor belt,” which includes the AMOC.

AMOC stands for Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The AMOC circulates water from north to south and back in a long cycle within the Atlantic Ocean. This circulation brings warmth to various parts of the globe and also carries nutrients necessary to sustain ocean life.

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Latitude lines start at the equator (0 degrees latitude) and run east and west, parallel to the equator. Lines of latitude are measured in degrees north or south of the equator to 90 degrees at the North or South poles.

Lines of latitude, also called parallels, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run east to west, but measure your distance north or south. The equator is the most well known parallel. At 0 degrees latitude, it equally divides the Earth into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. From the equator, latitude increases as you travel north or south, reaching 90 degrees at each pole.

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What is longitude?

Lines of longitude, also called meridians, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run north to south from pole to pole, but they measure the distance east or west. Longitude is measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds. Although latitude lines are alway equally spaced, longitude lines are furthest from each other at the equator and meet at the poles. A transcript is available that describes this infographic content in plain text. (Image credit: iStock)

Lines of longitude, also called meridians, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run north to south from pole to pole, but they measure the distance east or west.

The prime meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England, has a longitude of 0 degrees. It divides the Earth into the eastern and western hemispheres. The antimeridian is on the opposite side of the Earth, at 180 degrees longitude. Though the antimeridian is the basis for the international date line, actual date and time zone boundaries are dependent on local laws. The international date line zigzags around borders near the antimeridian.

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What is a barrier island?

Satellite image of Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory.

Barrier islands form as waves repeatedly deposit sediment parallel to the shoreline. As wind and waves shift according to weather patterns and local geographic features, these islands constantly move, erode, and grow. They can even disappear entirely.

They are generally separated from the mainland by tidal creeks, bays, and lagoons. Beaches and sand dune systems form on the side of the island facing the ocean; the side facing the shore often contains marshes, tidal flats, and maritime forests. These areas are important habitat for seabirds, fish and shellfish, and and nesting sea turtles.

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