RE: STRIPED BASS SEASON – COMMERCIAL FISHING OPERATIONS –
ALBEMARLE SOUND MANAGEMENT AREA
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Monday, March 14, 2011, the harvest of striped bass with COMMERCIAL FISHING OPERATIONS IN THE ALBEMARLE SOUND MANAGEMENT AREA WILL OPEN and the following provisions shall apply:
I. AREA DESCRIPTION
Albemarle Sound Management Area as described in Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03R .0201 (a).
II. SIZE AND HARVEST RESTRICTIONS
A. It is unlawful to take, possess, transport, buy, sell, or offer for sale striped bass less than 18 inches total length taken by commercial fishing operations from the Albemarle Sound Management Area.
B. It is unlawful for an individual or commercial fishing operation regardless of the number of persons or vessels involved, to possess, land, sell or offer for sale more than fifteen (15) striped bass, unless taken in conjunction with other commercially important finfish. Striped bass will be limited to 50% by weight, of the combined daily harvest, not to exceed 15 fish per day, per Standard Commercial Fishing License (SCFL) holder. The daily harvest limit of 15 striped bass shall not be exceeded, regardless of where taken from internal waters, unless the fish are taken in accordance with II. C. below.
C. It is unlawful for any operation consisting of more than one SCFL holder to be in possession of more than two daily harvest limits. A SCFL holder must accompany each single harvest limit until the time of sale to a dealer possessing a valid 2010/2011 STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Albemarle Sound Management Area.
A. It is unlawful for a dealer to possess, buy, sell or offer for sale striped bass taken from the Albemarle Sound Management Area without holding a valid STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Albemarle Sound Management Area from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. Dealers must abide by all conditions which appear on the permit as well as the general provisions which appear in 15A NCAC 03O .0500 et seq.
B. 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 Albemarle Sound Management Area in order to sell any striped bass personally harvested.
IV. SALE TAGS
It is unlawful for a dealer to possess, buy, sell, or offer for sale striped bass taken from the Albemarle Sound Management Area without having a North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries issued Albemarle Sound Management Area striped bass tag affixed through the mouth and gill cover. In case of the striped bass imported from other states, a similar tag that is issued for striped bass in the state of origin must be affixed.
V. LANDING RESTRICTIONS
Striped bass taken from areas opened by this proclamation may be sold only to and purchased by a dealer possessing a current STRIPED BASS DEALER PERMIT validated for the Albemarle Sound Management Area.
VI. SEASON CLOSURE
The striped bass season for commercial fishing equipment in the Albemarle Sound Management Area will close at 8:00 P.M., Thursday, April 14, 2011, unless closed by proclamation at an earlier date due to the harvest allocation being met. Dealers will have until two weeks after the closing of the season to sell, offer for sale, transport, or have in possession unfrozen striped bass taken in this fishery.
VII. 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 the N.C. Marine Fisheries Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103, 03M .0201, 03M .0202, 03O .0501 et seq. and 03Q .0107 (1)(c).March 9, 2011
B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority per 15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. The intent of this proclamation is to allow the harvest of striped bass in the Albemarle Sound Management Area by commercial fishing equipment within the harvest quota established by the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan.
D. 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).
E. Holders of RCGL licenses or hook-and-line fishermen must follow the bag limit and harvest restrictions of the recreational fishery for striped bass.
F. All striped bass taken during the season closures and all undersize striped bass shall be immediately returned to the water where taken, regardless of the condition of the fish.
G. Dealers whose businesses are located in Hyde, Dare, Tyrrell, Washington, Bertie, Chowan, Pasquotank, Camden, Hertford, Perquimans and other northern counties may obtain tags by contacting the Columbia Marine Patrol Office at 1-800-405-7774 or (252) 796-1322. Allow 48 hours for delivery.
H. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation FF-12-2011, dated January 21, 2011.