RE: STRIPED BASS SEASON – OCEAN TRAWL: ATLANTIC OCEAN
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 P.M., Thursday, February 24, 2011, the season for the harvest of striped bass with ocean trawls in the Atlantic Ocean waters of North Carolina SHALL OPEN. The following restrictions will apply:
I. SIZE LIMIT
No person may possess, transport, buy, sell, or offer for sale striped bass less than 28 inches total length taken with ocean trawls from the Atlantic Ocean.
II. HARVEST RESTRICTIONS
A. It is unlawful to take or possess striped bass from the Atlantic Ocean in a trawl operation without having an Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Gear Permit designated for the trawl fishery.
B. It is unlawful for the holder of an Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Gear Permit for the trawl fishery to land or sell more than 2,000 pounds of striped bass per vessel, per day, regardless of the number of permit holders on board, during the harvest period beginning at 12:01 P.M., Thursday, February 24, 2011 and ending at 12:00 Noon, Friday, February 25, 2011.
C. Vessels with an Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Permit designated for the trawl fishery may transfer up to 2,000 pounds of striped bass to another vessel with the trawl fishery permit in the Atlantic Ocean seaward of the COLREG Demarcation lines (see VIII.E) at the inlets.
D. It is unlawful for the holder of an Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Gear Permit for the trawl fishery to possess more than 2,000 pounds of striped bass in internal waters.
III. GEAR RESTRICTIONS
A. For purposes of this proclamation, a trawl is defined as a net made of multi-strand nylon consisting of wings, a body and a codend.
B. It is unlawful to possess gill nets on board a vessel used in the taking or landing of striped bass.
C. It is unlawful to possess striped bass aboard a vessel that has exceeded a tow time of 30 minutes duration (measured as the time from trawl doors entering the water to trawl doors being removed from the water).
IV. LANDING RESTRICTIONS
Striped bass harvested in this fishery may only be sold to and purchased by a currently licensed finfish dealer possessing a valid 2010/2011 Atlantic Ocean Dealer’s Striped Bass Permit.
V. DEALER PERMITS
A. No finfish dealer may possess, buy, sell or offer for sale striped bass taken from the Atlantic Ocean without first obtaining a 2010/2011 STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Atlantic Ocean from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. Dealers must abide by all conditions of the STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT and the general permit conditions found in NC Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03O .0503.
B. Only a STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Atlantic Ocean may be used for transactions involving striped bass taken from the area opened by this proclamation.
C. Striped bass lawfully sold to a permitted dealer may be resold to a non-permitted wholesale or retail market provided the initial permitted dealer records their dealer identification number on each bill of lading or receipts involved in the shipment of striped bass. Any individual or corporation who holds a current finfish dealer license must obtain a STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Atlantic Ocean in order to sell any striped bass personally harvested.
VI. SALE TAGS
No finfish dealer may possess, buy, sell or offer for sale striped bass taken from the Atlantic Ocean without having affixed either a North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries-issued Atlantic Ocean striped bass sale tag affixed through the mouth and gill cover or, in the case of striped bass imported from other states, a similar tag that is issued for striped bass in the state of origin.
VII. SEASON CLOSURE
The ocean trawl season for striped bass WILL CLOSE at 12:00 Noon, Friday, February 25, 2011 unless closed earlier by proclamation when the harvest quota is met.
VIII. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52; and N.C. Marine Fisheries Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103, 03M .0201; 03M .0204; and 03O .0500 et.seq.
B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. The intent of this proclamation is to allow the commercial harvest of striped bass from the Atlantic Ocean by traditional gears within the 480,480 pound quota established for the 2010/2011 season by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Fishery Management Plan for Striped Bass.
D. Federal regulation 50 CFR 697.7 (b) prohibits anyone from fishing for, harvesting, or possessing Atlantic striped bass in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
E. The waters of the Atlantic Ocean, as applicable to this proclamation are defined as waters seaward of the COLREGS Demarcation Lines as indicated on National Ocean Service navigation charts for the areas to which this proclamation applies.
F. Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Commercial Gear Permits were to have been purchased prior to November 1, 2010.
G. Permits may be obtained from all North Carolina Marine Fisheries License offices.
H. All striped bass taken during season closures and all undersized striped bass shall be immediately returned to the waters where taken, regardless of the condition of the fish.
I. Hook-and-line fishing equipment is not commercial fishing equipment in the striped bass fishery and it is illegal to sell or purchase striped bass taken by hook-and-line in accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03M .0201(b).
J. Holders of Recreational Commercial License or hook-and-line fishermen must follow the bag and restrictions of the recreational fishery for striped bass.
K. Dealers whose businesses are located in Beaufort, Carteret, Craven and Pamlico counties may obtain tags by contacting the Morehead City Marine Patrol Office at 1-800-682-2632 or (252) 726-7021. Dealers whose businesses are located in Hyde, Dare, Tyrrell, Washington, Bertie, Chowan, Pasquotank, Camden, Hertford and other northern counties may obtain tags by contacting the Columbia Marine Patrol at 1-800-405-7774 or (252) 796-1322. Allow 48 hours for delivery.
February 22, 2011