MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will hold a public hearing Sept. 30 to receive comments on several proposed new rules.
The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. at the Craven County Cooperative Extension office, 300 Industrial Dr., New Bern.
The proposed rules will:
· Reorganize the fisheries rulebook by removing repetitive or non-regulatory language in Subchapter 03H and relocating maps and marking regulations to Subchapter 03I;
· Define the terms “corkline,” “headrope” and “lead” referred to in other rules;
· Correct a cross-reference to a definition for coral and live rock (this will not change the definition);
· Clarify that only those holding a Recreational Commercial Gear License that use pots authorized by the license are required to mark their pots with hot pink buoys;
· Broaden the existing proclamation authority of the director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries to maintain compliance with interstate regulations for horseshoe crabs;
· Add a definition for pectoral fin curved fork length and allow bluefin tuna to be measured this way for consistency with federal regulations for commercially-caught tunas;
· Allow for the head of a commercially-caught tuna to be removed at sea, making state rules consistent with federal regulations;
· Require ocean fishing piers to submit a monthly report of the daily head counts of anglers so that the state may maintain exemption to the National Angler Registry;
· Require shellfish culture training certification for new lease applicants and transferees, as required by state law;
· Remove the requirement to notarize signatures on fishing permit renewal applications;
· Classify Long Creek Gut and reclassify Eastham Creek as Primary Nursery Areas;
· Classify a portion of Chadwick Bay as a Special Secondary Nursery Area;
· Update the list of cross-references to no-trawling areas in Rule 03R .0106; and
· Codify an existing proclamation that protects a new coastal fishing reef/oyster sanctuary at Gibbs Shoal in Hyde County.
Full texts of the proposed rules were published today in the N.C. Register and can be found online at http://www.oah.state.nc.us/rules/register/.
Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Oct. 15 and may be mailed to: Catherine Blum, Rules Coordinator, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557, faxed to (252) 726-0254 or e-mailed to Catherine.Blum@ncdenr.gov.
For more information, contact Blum at (252) 808-8013.