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MOREHEAD CITY (Feb. 15, 2006) – Fishermen interested in learning about a new monkfish permit are encouraged to attend an informational meeting at Festival Park in Manteo on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.

Staff from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will explain the new 2006 Monkfish Large Mesh Gill Net Permit conditions, which include:

· Use of gill nets larger than 7 inch stretched mesh from March 16 - April 14 of this year, between 2 and 3 miles offshore from the North Carolina/Virginia state line down to Wimble Shoal, located offshore of Avon;
· Nets fished every 48 hours;
· Valid North Carolina commercial fishing license;
· Only the captain of the participating vessel is required to hold permit;
· Season closure if sea surface temperatures exceed 11° C (approximately 52° F), the temperature when sea turtles become more active; and
· Season closure if interactions with marine mammals or sea turtles occur.

The purpose of the permit is to reduce the threat of interactions between the gill nets and marine mammals and sea turtles, while allowing the traditional monkfish fishery to occur in state waters.

The new permits are available free of charge at any DMF license office. For more information on this permit, visit http://www.ncdmf.net/procs/procs2k6/FF-14-2006.html or contact Red Munden at 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632.
 
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