Public Comment Sought on Blue Crab Management Proposals

Public Comment Sought on Blue Crab Management Proposals

RALEIGH – Fishermen will get a chance to comment on the future of crab fishing in North Carolina at a series of public meetings to be held in the coming weeks.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will hold six meetings to receive public comments on Draft Amendment 2 to the N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan. The meetings will be held in conjunction with Marine Fisheries Commission advisory committee meetings set for:

Dec. 5 at 6 p.m.

Inland Regional Advisory Committee

Ground Floor Hearing Room, Archdale Building

512 North Salisbury St., Raleigh

Dec. 12 at 6 p.m.

Crustacean Advisory Committee

N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Regional Field Office

943 Washington Square Mall, Washington

Dec. 6 at 6 p.m.

Northeast Regional Advisory Committee

Dare County Administration Building, Room 168

954 Marshall C Collins Drive, Manteo

Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.

Central Regional Advisory Committee

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office

5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City

Dec. 8 at 6 p.m.

Southeast Regional Advisory Committee

N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Field Office

127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington

Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.

Habitat and Water Quality Advisory Committee

N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Field Office

943 Washington Square Mall, Washington

A 2011 Division of Marine Fisheries Blue Crab Stock Assessment determined that the stock is not overfished, but it is unknown if overfishing is occurring.

The draft amendment proposes adoption of adaptive management measures whereby stricter regulations would be implemented in the blue crab fishery if certain biological triggers are unfavorable for three consecutive years. These adaptive management measures use several biological surveys and sampling programs to determine the relative abundance of adult crabs in the population, the abundance of young crabs in the population, and various production indictors for the spawning stock each year.

Other items considered in the draft amendment include:

· Eliminate the harvest of sponge crabs and allowing no more than a 3 percent culling tolerance;

· Prohibit the harvest of v-apron immature hard crab females that are 5-inches or greater;

· Consider a 75 pot per vessel limit in southern Bogue Sound;

· Open eight non-pot areas (long haul areas) in the Pungo River to the use of pots, and keep the Long Point non-pot area in Pamlico River closed to the use of pots;

–More–

2

· Use the type of bait instead of pot mesh size to define escape ring requirements in a crab pot;

· Establish new boundaries for the Pamlico Sound area where closure of escape rings to take small mature females is allowed;

· Clarify existing rules so that they are easier for the public to understand and they match harvest and enforcement practices;

· Allow buoyant line to connect a crab pot to a buoy in areas where obstructions exist, as long as the line is not floating on the surface;

· Establish specific criteria for using proclamation authority to require terrapin excluder devices in crab pots;

· Allow multiple pots on a line, not to exceed two pots per buoy.

The draft amendment, a summary document of the issues and recommendations, and a summary of the stock protection options can be found on the Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/fmps-under-development.

Written comments may be sent to division biologist Lynn Henry by regular mail at 1367 U.S. 17 South, Elizabeth City, N.C. 27909 or by email at Ly********@nc****.gov.

For more information, contact Henry at (252) 264-3911 or (800) 338-7805 or at the above email address.

###

nr-55-11

Cheryl Gilgo

Division of Marine Fisheries

Public Affairs Assistant

252-808-8137

Public Comment Sought on Blue Crab Management Proposals

RALEIGH – Fishermen will get a chance to comment on the future of crab fishing in North Carolina at a series of public meetings to be held in the coming weeks.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will hold six meetings to receive public comments on Draft Amendment 2 to the N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan. The meetings will be held in conjunction with Marine Fisheries Commission advisory committee meetings set for:

Dec. 5 at 6 p.m.

Inland Regional Advisory Committee

Ground Floor Hearing Room, Archdale Building

512 North Salisbury St., Raleigh

Dec. 12 at 6 p.m.

Crustacean Advisory Committee

N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Regional Field Office

943 Washington Square Mall, Washington

Dec. 6 at 6 p.m.

Northeast Regional Advisory Committee

Dare County Administration Building, Room 168

954 Marshall C Collins Drive, Manteo

Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.

Central Regional Advisory Committee

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office

5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City

Dec. 8 at 6 p.m.

Southeast Regional Advisory Committee

N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Field Office

127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington

Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.

Habitat and Water Quality Advisory Committee

N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Field Office

943 Washington Square Mall, Washington

A 2011 Division of Marine Fisheries Blue Crab Stock Assessment determined that the stock is not overfished, but it is unknown if overfishing is occurring.

The draft amendment proposes adoption of adaptive management measures whereby stricter regulations would be implemented in the blue crab fishery if certain biological triggers are unfavorable for three consecutive years. These adaptive management measures use several biological surveys and sampling programs to determine the relative abundance of adult crabs in the population, the abundance of young crabs in the population, and various production indictors for the spawning stock each year.

Other items considered in the draft amendment include:

· Eliminate the harvest of sponge crabs and allowing no more than a 3 percent culling tolerance;

· Prohibit the harvest of v-apron immature hard crab females that are 5-inches or greater;

· Consider a 75 pot per vessel limit in southern Bogue Sound;

· Open eight non-pot areas (long haul areas) in the Pungo River to the use of pots, and keep the Long Point non-pot area in Pamlico River closed to the use of pots;

–More–

2

· Use the type of bait instead of pot mesh size to define escape ring requirements in a crab pot;

· Establish new boundaries for the Pamlico Sound area where closure of escape rings to take small mature females is allowed;

· Clarify existing rules so that they are easier for the public to understand and they match harvest and enforcement practices;

· Allow buoyant line to connect a crab pot to a buoy in areas where obstructions exist, as long as the line is not floating on the surface;

· Establish specific criteria for using proclamation authority to require terrapin excluder devices in crab pots;

· Allow multiple pots on a line, not to exceed two pots per buoy.

The draft amendment, a summary document of the issues and recommendations, and a summary of the stock protection options can be found on the Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/fmps-under-development.

Written comments may be sent to division biologist Lynn Henry by regular mail at 1367 U.S. 17 South, Elizabeth City, N.C. 27909 or by email at Ly********@nc****.gov.

For more information, contact Henry at (252) 264-3911 or (800) 338-7805 or at the above email address.

###

nr-55-11

Cheryl Gilgo

Division of Marine Fisheries

Public Affairs Assistant

252-808-8137

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SAFETY/ATLANTIC OCEAN-GEORGIA-FLORIDA/HAZ OPS/CCGD7 BNM 0010-24

1. The following areas will contain US Navy exercises hazardous to surface vessels in the areas below during subject week (all times are in local unless specified):
A. GUNEX AREA W-137L
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-45N/80-56W
30-45N/80-30W
30-34N/80-30W
30-34N/80-57W
30-36N/80-57W
B. GUNEX AREA W-138L
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-45N/80-30W
30-45N/79-38W
30-34N/79-41W
30-34N/80-30W
C. GUNEX AREA 31J
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
29-20N/79-50W
29-20N/79-40W
29-10N/79-40W
29-10N/79-50W
D. GUNEX AREA 27C
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-00N/81-00W
30-00N/80-50W
29-50N/80-50W
29-50N/81-00W
E. JSWTR (underwater shallow water training range with hydrophones)
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-28N/80-22W
30-28N/80-00W
30-03N/80-06W
30-03N/80-29W
F. DIPPING AREA 26G
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-00N/80-10W
30-10N/80-10W
30-10N/80-20W
30-00N/80-06W
30-04N/80-20W
CANCEL AT//040459Z MAR 24//

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SAFETY/ATLANTIC OCEAN-GEORGIA-FLORIDA/HAZ OPS/CCGD7 BNM 0010-24

1. The following areas will contain US Navy exercises hazardous to surface vessels in the areas below during subject week (all times are in local unless specified):
A. GUNEX AREA W-137L
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-45N/80-56W
30-45N/80-30W
30-34N/80-30W
30-34N/80-57W
30-36N/80-57W
B. GUNEX AREA W-138L
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-45N/80-30W
30-45N/79-38W
30-34N/79-41W
30-34N/80-30W
C. GUNEX AREA 31J
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
29-20N/79-50W
29-20N/79-40W
29-10N/79-40W
29-10N/79-50W
D. GUNEX AREA 27C
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-00N/81-00W
30-00N/80-50W
29-50N/80-50W
29-50N/81-00W
E. JSWTR (underwater shallow water training range with hydrophones)
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-28N/80-22W
30-28N/80-00W
30-03N/80-06W
30-03N/80-29W
F. DIPPING AREA 26G
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-00N/80-10W
30-10N/80-10W
30-10N/80-20W
30-00N/80-06W
30-04N/80-20W
CANCEL AT//040459Z MAR 24//

BT

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SAFETY/ATLANTIC OCEAN-GEORGIA-FLORIDA/HAZ OPS/CCGD7 BNM 0010-24

1. The following areas will contain US Navy exercises hazardous to surface vessels in the areas below during subject week (all times are in local unless specified):
A. GUNEX AREA W-137L
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-45N/80-56W
30-45N/80-30W
30-34N/80-30W
30-34N/80-57W
30-36N/80-57W
B. GUNEX AREA W-138L
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-45N/80-30W
30-45N/79-38W
30-34N/79-41W
30-34N/80-30W
C. GUNEX AREA 31J
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
29-20N/79-50W
29-20N/79-40W
29-10N/79-40W
29-10N/79-50W
D. GUNEX AREA 27C
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-00N/81-00W
30-00N/80-50W
29-50N/80-50W
29-50N/81-00W
E. JSWTR (underwater shallow water training range with hydrophones)
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-28N/80-22W
30-28N/80-00W
30-03N/80-06W
30-03N/80-29W
F. DIPPING AREA 26G
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-00N/80-10W
30-10N/80-10W
30-10N/80-20W
30-00N/80-06W
30-04N/80-20W
CANCEL AT//040459Z MAR 24//

BT

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SAFETY/ATLANTIC OCEAN-GEORGIA-FLORIDA/HAZ OPS/CCGD7 BNM 0010-24

1. The following areas will contain US Navy exercises hazardous to surface vessels in the areas below during subject week (all times are in local unless specified):
A. GUNEX AREA W-137L
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-45N/80-56W
30-45N/80-30W
30-34N/80-30W
30-34N/80-57W
30-36N/80-57W
B. GUNEX AREA W-138L
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-45N/80-30W
30-45N/79-38W
30-34N/79-41W
30-34N/80-30W
C. GUNEX AREA 31J
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
29-20N/79-50W
29-20N/79-40W
29-10N/79-40W
29-10N/79-50W
D. GUNEX AREA 27C
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-00N/81-00W
30-00N/80-50W
29-50N/80-50W
29-50N/81-00W
E. JSWTR (underwater shallow water training range with hydrophones)
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-28N/80-22W
30-28N/80-00W
30-03N/80-06W
30-03N/80-29W
F. DIPPING AREA 26G
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-00N/80-10W
30-10N/80-10W
30-10N/80-20W
30-00N/80-06W
30-04N/80-20W
CANCEL AT//040459Z MAR 24//

BT

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SAFETY/ATLANTIC OCEAN-GEORGIA-FLORIDA/HAZ OPS/CCGD7 BNM 0010-24

1. The following areas will contain US Navy exercises hazardous to surface vessels in the areas below during subject week (all times are in local unless specified):
A. GUNEX AREA W-137L
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-45N/80-56W
30-45N/80-30W
30-34N/80-30W
30-34N/80-57W
30-36N/80-57W
B. GUNEX AREA W-138L
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-45N/80-30W
30-45N/79-38W
30-34N/79-41W
30-34N/80-30W
C. GUNEX AREA 31J
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
29-20N/79-50W
29-20N/79-40W
29-10N/79-40W
29-10N/79-50W
D. GUNEX AREA 27C
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-00N/81-00W
30-00N/80-50W
29-50N/80-50W
29-50N/81-00W
E. JSWTR (underwater shallow water training range with hydrophones)
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-28N/80-22W
30-28N/80-00W
30-03N/80-06W
30-03N/80-29W
F. DIPPING AREA 26G
26/0000 FEB 24 to 03/2359 MAR 24
30-00N/80-10W
30-10N/80-10W
30-10N/80-20W
30-00N/80-06W
30-04N/80-20W
CANCEL AT//040459Z MAR 24//

BT

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