The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Nov. 13-15 at The Beaufort Hotel, 2440 Lennoxville Road, Beaufort.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Nov. 13, at 9 a.m. Nov. 14, and at 9 a.m. Nov. 15.
Public comment periods are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 and at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 14. 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 Nov. 13 or the Nov. 14 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. Nov. 7. Those who wish to submit comments electronically may do so through an online format by clicking here. 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 commission is scheduled to consider public comment and advisory committee input received on draft Amendment 3 to the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan and select its preferred management measures for departmental and legislative review.
A full meeting agenda and briefing book materials are posted online here.
Request for Public Comment on a Control Date for Commercial Spanish Mackerel
On October 15, 2019, NOAA Fisheries published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to set a control date of March 7, 2019, for commercial Spanish mackerel. This notice informs current and potential future participants that the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (South Atlantic Council) is considering restrictions limiting participation in the commercial Spanish mackerel sector. Participants who enter the commercial sector after March 7, 2019, will not be assured of future access ifa management regime that limits participation in the sector is prepared and implemented. NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on this control date. SUMMARY:
The federal commercial permit for Spanish mackerel is currently an open access permit and allows fishermen to harvest both Atlantic and Gulf migratory groups of Spanish mackerel.
At their June 2019 meeting, the South Atlantic Council requested NOAA Fisheries publish a notice informing the public of the March 7, 2019, control date.
At future meetings, the South Atlantic Council will continue discussions on possible avenues to control effort in the commercial Spanish mackerel sector, including, but not limited to, a limited access commercial permit, a limited access gillnet endorsement in the Atlantic southern zone (North Carolina/South Carolina boundary to the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, Florida, boundary, and ways to improve collaboration with state agencies.
The South Atlantic Council may choose a different control date or a different management program without using a control date.
The South Atlantic Council may also choose to take no further action to control entry or access to the commercial Spanish mackerel sector.
If the South Atlantic Council decides to restrict participation in the commercial Spanish mackerel sector in relation to this control date, an amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region, including analysis of specific biological, economic, and social effects will be prepared at that time.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will need to approve any restrictions for the commercial Spanish mackerel sector.
HOW TO COMMENT ON THE NOTICE:The comment period for the notice is open now through November 14, 2019. You may submit comments by electronic submission or by postal mail. Comments sent by any other method (such as e-mail), to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries. FORMAL FEDERAL REGISTER NUMBER: 84 FR 55132, published October 15, 2019 Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.
Amendment 3 Scoping Period The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will hold a public scoping period Dec. 4-18 to solicit public comments on potential management strategies for Amendment 3. The primary management strategy for Amendment 3 is long-term sustainable harvest in the southern flounder fishery.
Fisheries stakeholders can provide in-person comments at two scoping meetings that will be held: Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office 5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead CityDec. 17 at 6 p.m. Dare County Government Complex Commissioners Meeting Room 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr., ManteoBeginning Dec. 4, comments can also be submitted through the division's website through an online form or by mail. A news release will be issued closer to the scoping period providing details on how the public can participate. A scoping document outlining the potential management strategies has been developed for the public.
Council Seeks Applicants for Federal Fishery Advisory Panels Applications are now being solicited for the following positions: Dolphin Wahoo Advisory Panel (1) Open Seat Habitat and Ecosystem-Based Management Advisory Panel (1) NC Seat; (1) SC Seat; and (1) FL Seat
Information and Education Advisory Panel (1) Recreational Seat and (1) Commercial Seat