The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Nominating Committee will meet Oct. 23 at 10 a.m. by conference call. Members of the public may listen to the call at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Headquarters Office, 3441 Arendell St., Morehead City.
Agenda items include reviewing and recommending a slate of candidates for North Carolina’s obligatory seat on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The committee’s recommendations will be forwarded to the Marine Fisheries Commission.
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is accepting public comments on changes to two rules, one pertaining to tarpon and the other pertaining to transfers of commercial fishing licenses.
The public may comment in person at a public hearing scheduled for Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. at the division’s Central District Office, 5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City. The public may also comment in writing to division Rules Coordinator Catherine Blum at P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557 or via email at Catherine.Blum@ncdenr.gov. The deadline for written comments is Dec. 2.
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.
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
OBX Seafood Festival - NCWU will have a tent and be set up to answer questions about what is going on in the fishing industry. There will be contests and events for the commercial fishermen. More details will be posted as they become available.