RE: MONKFISH – COMMERCIAL FISHING OPERATIONS – ATLANTIC OCEAN
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Tuesday, March 1, 2011, the following restrictions shall apply to the commercial monkfish fishery:
Masters of vessels that fish for monkfish in the Atlantic Ocean in the one mile wide area extending from two miles seaward of the coastline to three miles seaward of the coastline from the North Carolina/Virginia state line southward to Wimble Shoal (Latitude 35° 30’N) established in Proclamation M-6-2011 are required to possess a 2011 Monkfish Large Mesh Gill Net Permit from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. Permits will be issued only to fishermen holding a valid commercial fishing license as authorized in G.S. 113-168.2 and G.S.113-168.3. Masters must abide by all conditions of the 2011 Monkfish Large Mesh Gill Net Permit.
II. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-134; 113- 170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and NC Marine Fisheries Rules 15A NCAC 03O. 0512.
B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. For purposes of this proclamation, large mesh gill nets are defined as gill nets greater than seven (7) inches stretched mesh.
D. North Carolina Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03I .0113 specifies that it is unlawful for any licensee under Chapter 113, Subchapter IV of the General Statutes to refuse to allow the Fisheries Director or his agents to obtain biological data, harvest information, or other statistical data necessary or useful to the conservation and management of marine and estuarine resources from fish in the licensee’s possession.
E. The intent of this proclamation is to allow traditional large mesh gill net fisheries for monkfish to be prosecuted in state waters while reducing the threat of interactions between this gear and bottlenose dolphins, other marine mammals, and sea turtles.
F. Monkfish Large Mesh Gill Net Permits are available at no cost from all Division of Marine Fisheries License Offices.
G. Harvest restrictions for the large mesh gill net fisheries beginning March 16, 2010 are described in Proclamation M-33-2010, dated December 7, 2010.
February 17, 2011