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Public Meetings Set For Oyster, Clams Interjurisdictionary Plans

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will hold a series of public meetings in October to discuss proposed amendments to the state’s oyster, clam and interjurisdictional fishery management plans.

The oyster and clam plans, adopted in 2001, discuss issues and provide blueprints for regulations concerning the oyster and clam fisheries. The Interjurisdictional Plan, adopted in 2002, does the same for federally- and regionally-managed species.

Proposed changes to the oyster and clam plans include recommendations to:

*adopt rules and request changes to state law to clarify that the sale of shellfish harvested on the weekend from public water bottom is prohibited

*modify oyster harvest limits in Pamlico Sound to promote hand harvest methods

*move mechanical clam harvest lines to further protect oyster reefs and submerged aquatic vegetation

*eliminate an experimental rotation of clam mechanical harvest areas in Pamlico and Core sounds

*continue to search for ways to quantify recreational shellfish harvests, whether it be through a recreational shellfish license or through telephone surveys

Proposed changes to the Interjurisdictional Fishery Management Plan include recommendations to:

*broaden the fisheries director’s proclamation authority to comply with federal regulations

*modify menhaden rules to eliminate a bycatch allowance that conflicts with species size and possession limits

*adopt rules for tuna to provide state enforcement of minimum size and creel limits

The meetings will be held in conjunction with regional advisory committee meetings. Comments received from the public and advisory committees will be incorporated into the draft amendments to the plan and presented to the Marine Fisheries Commission for consideration at its November meeting.

Public meetings are scheduled for:

Oct. 2, 6 p.m.
Southeast Regional Advisory Committee
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources office
127 Cardinal Dr.
Wilmington

Oct. 17, 6 p.m.
Central Regional Advisory Committee
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources office
943 Washington Square Mall
Washington

Oct. 18, 6:30 p.m.
Northeast Regional Advisory Committee
Dare County Commissioners’ Room
204 Ananais Dare St.
Manteo

Oct. 23
Inland Regional Advisory Committee
Raleigh
(Time and place to be announced)

Copies of the draft amendments to the oyster and clam and plans are available on the Division of Marine Fisheries Web site at www.ncdmf.net For more information, contact Tina Moore (clams) or Mike Marshall (oysters) at (252) 726-7021 or (800) 682-2632.

For more information about amendments to the Interjurisdictional Plan, contact Katy West at (252) 946-6481 or (800) 338-7804.


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