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Morehead City – The Marine Fisheries Commission will meet April 20 – 22 at the Clarion Oceanfront Hotel in Kill Devil Hills, NC. The meeting is open to the public.

On April 20, a public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. where the public is invited to comment on the proposed rules listed below.

On April 21 – 22, the Commission will hold a business meeting starting at 9 a.m. on April 21.
(See Agenda Below)

For more information, contact Jess Hawkins by email at: [email protected] or by calling
1-800-682-2632 or 252-726-7021.

The MFC will receive public comment on the following proposed rules at these hearings:
· Require white-line peeler crabs be held separately from pink and red-line peelers;
· Shorten attendance period for crab pots from seven days to five days;
· Unlawful to possess trawl-caught finfish in designated crab pot areas during certain times of the year;
· Restrict the taking of blue crabs by channel nets, except for bycatch that cannot exceed 50 percent of the catch or 300 lbs., whichever is greater;
· Extend the crab pot clean-up period to Jan. 15 – Feb. 7 of each year;
· Prohibit the use of yellow or pink buoys for crab pots;
· Give the DMF director proclamation authority to settle user conflicts;
· Establish a conflict resolution process;
· Allow the DMF director to implement a 6 ¾ inch size limit for female crabs and culling tolerance if the spawning stock biomass falls below levels set in the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan;
· Expand the DMF director’s proclamation authority to increase crab trawl mesh size to minimize waste;
· Allow possession of white-line peeler crabs for use in permitted shedding operations;
· In order to stay in compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, it is unlawful to possess an American lobster with a carapace less than 3 3/8 inches or greater than 5 ½ inches;
· In order to stay in compliance with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, allow the sale of recreationally-caught dolphin and wahoo by for-hire charter boats possessing appropriate state and federal permits, establish bag and trip limits and dealer and operator permits for dolphin and wahoo;
· Revoke dealer permit for ocean-intercept shad fishery because fishery is closed;
· Technical adjustments to the Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan;
· Change the boundary lines of the Mallard’s Bay primary nursery area to exclude the mouth of the waterbody; and
· Change the designated pot area boundary descriptions to a standardized 6-ft. depth contour in Hyde, Beaufort, Pamlico and Craven counties.

APRIL 21-22, 2005

April 21, 2005
9 a.m. Call to Order
Roll Call
Approval of Agenda and Minutes*
Public Comment
Issues from Commission Members

9:30 a.m Chairman’s Report
· Primary Nursery Area Rule Suspension-Mallard Bay [NCAC 15A 03R.0103(d)] (Action)
· Spiny Dogfish Compliance Advisory Panel
· 2005 Public Hearings for Rulemaking- Southern Flounder FMP rules
· Conflict Mediation Update
· Fisheries Resource Grant (FRG) Update
· Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council Nomination update
· Saltwater Fishing License Update

10 a.m. Committee Reports / Action Items
· Oyster Sanctuaries (Action)
· Krimmel, Pasquotank County (Action)
· Oyster FMP Amendment 2 (Action)
· Whale Take Reduction Federal Rules (Action)
· NMFS Shark Management (Action)
· Stone Crab Measures (Action)

Noon Lunch
1:30 pm Coastal Habitat Protection Plan (CHPP) Implementation
· Marine Fisheries
· Water Quality
· Coastal Management

3 p.m. Draft Striped Mullet FMP
· Stock Assessment
· Overview
· Discussion
· Public Meetings for Review

5 p.m. Adjourn

April 22, 2005
8:30 a.m. ASMFC American Eel FMP Public Information Document
· Comments (Action)

9:30 a.m. Shellfish Sanitation Section New Shoreline Survey Methodology Presentation- Steve Murphey

10:30 a.m. Commercial Atlantic Ocean Striped Bass Fishery Limited Entry Proposal

Noon Lunch

1:30 p.m. Southern Flounder FMP Implementation Schedule (Action)

2 p.m. Atlantic Sturgeon ASMFC FMP Amendment 1 (Action)

2:30 p.m. Director’s Report
· Legislative Update
· Summer Flounder
· Striped Bass
· River Herring
· Under Dock Oyster Culture
· Incidental Take Permit Application – Pamlico Sound
· Marine Patrol Report - Col. Joe Lynch
· MAFMC Update - Red Munden
· Highly Migratory Species Update - Dr. Louis Daniel
· SAFMC Update - Dr. Louis Daniel

4 p.m. Adjourn

* Times indicated are merely for guidance. The Commission will proceed through the agenda until completed.

2005 Business Meetings:
June 28-29 Raleigh
August 30-31 Atlantic Beach
November 17-18 Ocracoke
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