Current News & Events
MFC May 2023
Last week the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) voted to approve Supplement A to Amendment 1 of the Striped Mullet Fisheries Management Plan (FMP). The MFC voted to accept Option 5 in Supplement A as presented by the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) to reduce Striped Mullet harvest by a minimum of 21.7%.
Areas North of the Highway 58 Bridge will close to harvest November 7th while areas South of the Highway 58 Bridge will close to harvest November 10th. The harvest closure will last through December 31st.
These year-end closures will remain in place until Amendment 2 to the Striped Mullet FMP is adopted. Amendment 2 is tentatively scheduled for adoption in 2024.
The MFC approved the Goals and Objectives for the Speckled Trout FMP Amendment 1. Information on Spotted Seatrout FMP Amendment 1
False Albacore (Little Tunny)
The MFC agreed by consent to for the DMF to continue developing rulemaking language with management options for False Albacore.
If you have any questions or concerns contact Thomas Newman, Fisheries Liaison, at Thomasnewman@ncfish.org
Bluefish Proclamation for Trip limit in Effect May 27
NCDMF issued a proclamation today, 5/24 that sets a commercial bluefish trip limit to prevent an early season closure. Starting on May 27, an individual or commercial fishing operation, regardless of the number of persons, license holders or vessels involved, can possess, sell or offer for sale no more than 800 pounds of bluefish per day or per trip, whichever is more restrictive. The proclamation can be viewed at this link: FF-24-2023_bluefish_comm_TripLimit(800lb)-Final.pdf (nc.gov).
The 2023 quota for NC is 1,374,077 pounds, which is higher than the last few years. However, the NC commercial fishery has already landed over 50% of the state’s quota. We hope to receive some quota transfers from other states later this year, but a trip limit will still be needed to avoid closing the season before December 31.
2023 2nd Quarter Fishery Meetings
(April, May, June) State & Federal
NC MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION: Quarterly Business Meeting:
Beaufort Hotel, 2440 Lennox Rd, Beaufort, NC
Agenda & minutes available at deq.nc.gov … follow home page to MEETINGS
ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION:
Westin Crystal City, 1800 Richmond Hwy, Arlington, VA
Agenda & minutes available at asmfc.org … follow home page to MEETINGS
MID-ATLANTIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL:
Tues- Thurs April 4-6
Hyatt Place @ Southpoint, Durham, NC
Agenda & minutes available at mafmc.org … follow home page to MEETINGS
SOUTH ATLANTIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL:
Town & Country Inn, 2008 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC
Agenda & minutes available at safmc.net … follow home page to MEETING
SAFMC Advisory Panel Mtgs
Mackerel/Cobia AP…Friday, April 21…Webinar only
Snapper/Grouper AP…Tuesday, April 25
DARE COUNTY WATERWAYS COMMISSION: … all meetings @ 7:00pm
Monday – April 10
Monday – May 8
Monday – June 12
OREGON INLET TASK FORCE: …all meetings @ 9:30am
Tuesday – April 11
Tuesday – May 9
Tuesday – June 13
Outer Banks Seafood Festival announces endowment in support of fishing industry
Outer Banks Seafood Festival Board Members present check for $10,000 to add to the Outer Banks Seafood Festival Endowment Fund from proceeds of the 2022 event. L-R: Melinda VanBuren, OBSF Director; Buster Nunemaker, OBSF Vice Chair; Richard Hess, OBSF Chairman of the Board; Bambos Charlambous, OSBF Director; Mary Ellon Balance, OBSF Treasurer
The Outer Banks Seafood Festival Board of Directors is pleased to announce that a portion of the proceeds from the 2022 festival in the amount of $10,000 have been set aside and added to the Outer Banks Seafood Festival Endowment Fund. The purpose of these funds is to allow the festival to provide support for the fishing industry on the Outer Banks.
Eligible entities for funds include commercial fishermen, fish houses, charter/head boats, and other entities that support this industry. All requests must be from Outer Banks entities (Dare, Currituck and Hyde Counties). Funds may be awarded to assist the fishing community with healthcare/medical emergencies, equipment needs or repair needs, food and supplies, etc.
Fund applications will be reviewed by the Outer Banks Seafood Festival Fund committee on a quarterly basis in March, June, September, and December. Emergency fund requests may be considered on an “as needed” basis. Fund recipients will be notified of award and disbursements made no later than 14 days following the approval of the application and proof of fund expenditures. Payment of these funds will be made either via a purchase order or as a reimbursement once expenses are incurred.
Fund applications can be found on the festival website at www.outerbanksseafoodfestival.org or by contacting Karen Brown, Executive Director of the festival, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (252) 441-8144.
The purposes for which the Outer Banks Seafood Festival is organized are to provide a fun and educational experience, promoting honoring and celebrating our coastal seafood heritage and community. These purposes are exclusively nonprofit, charitable, and educational.
Since 2012, the festival has generated nearly $80,000 in grants and financial support for local maritime industry members in need. The2023 Festival date is Saturday, October 21; event information is available at https://www.outerbanksseafoodfestival.org.
Contributions to the new Seafood Festival Endowment can be made online at www.obcf.org/donate or by sending a check to OBCF, 13 Skyline Road, Southern Shores, NC 27949.
The North Carolina Watermen United participated in the Dolphin Shareholder Workshop held January 25, 2023 at the Coastal Studies Institute in Wanchese. The workshop was sponsored by NOAA & the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council seeking input on the current status and future of the dolphin fishery. The NCWU assisted both NOAA & the SAFMC to have many of our local commercial, charter for hire, recreational fisherman and community members attend the meeting to voice our stand on proposed regulations. Attendance was outstanding with over eighty-five (85) concerned watermen & women to have their opinions and recommendations heard.
NOAA & SAFMC representatives sought the advice of the experienced watermen on their top priorities, what are the most valued aspects and their concerns about the fishery. The conversation was spirited as dolphin is the “bread & butter” for all sectors in the late spring, summer and early fall. We are all weary of the proposed SAFMC “Dolphin Regulatory Amendment 3” that would drastically reduce the charter for hire daily catch limit from 54 per vessel to 30 and introduce a minimum 20-inch slot limit. The NCWU is focused on delaying any vote by the council until all dolphin surveys of population & migratory patterns are completed and data analyzed.
Thanks to all our hard-working men and women, supporting industries and community residents for making the workshop “standing room only.” The NCWU was well represented with nine of our Board of Directors and many members attending.