Marine Fisheries Commission to meet Feb. 19-21 in New Bern The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19, at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 20, and at 9 a.m. Feb. 21.
Public comment periods are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Feb. 19 and at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 20. Members of the public may speak to the commission on any fisheries-related topic. The chairman will allow each speaker to comment for three minutes. More time may be allotted, at the chairman’s discretion, depending on the number who sign up to speak. Those making comments will be asked to speak only once, either at the Feb. 19 or the Feb. 20 session, but not during both public comment periods.
The deadline for submitting written comments to the commission through the Marine Fisheries Commission Office is 5 p.m. Feb. 17. Those who wish to submit comments electronically may do so through an online format by clickinghere.
Those who wish to bring their own handouts to give to the commission during the public comment period should bring at least 12 copies to the meeting. The Marine Fisheries Commission Office will not accept public comment for this meeting through email.
The public may listen to the meeting online. Up to 200 participants may listen to audio and view presentations in real-time on a first-come, first-served basis. Directions for participating in the webcast, including information on system requirements and testing, can be found here. Following the meeting, an audio recording will be posted online.
The meeting agenda includes the following votes:
Final adoption of the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan Amendment 3;
Approval of the goal and objectives for amendments for two fishery management plans,
The Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Amendment 3, and
The Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Amendment 2;
Approval of proposed language to prepare for rulemaking pertaining to
The Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Amendment 1 Special Secondary Nursery Area Issue Paper, and
Addressing user conflicts for shellfish leases; and
Final adoption of proposed amendments to two rules,
Amend 15A NCAC 03M .0509 to prohibit possession of tarpon and make it illegal to gaff, spear, or puncture tarpon by any method other than hook and line, and
Amend 15A NCAC 03O .0108 to clarify the circumstances under which transfers of Standard Commercial Fishing Licenses are allowed.
The agenda also includes:
Potential action to begin rulemaking for small mesh gill nets;
Receiving a presentation on using circle hooks and bent barbed treble hooks to reduce discard mortality in catch-and-release fishing; and
Potential action to begin the process to implement recreational hook and line rule modifications.
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is seeking applicants for a new Shellfish Cultivation Lease Review Committee that will hear appeals of agency decisions regarding shellfish leases.
One with expertise or relevant experience in shellfish aquaculture; and
One with expertise or relevant experience in coastal property or property assessment.
Individuals who meet the above qualifications and are interested in serving on the Shellfish Cultivation Lease Review Committee should be willing to meet periodically to hear contested cases. Committee members will be reimbursed for travel and other expenses incurred in relation to their official duties.
Applications are available online here, at Division of Marine Fisheries’ offices, or by calling 252-808-8022 or 252-726-7021. Applications should be returned by March 13 to the Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557, Attention: Dana Gillikin.