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Marine Fisheries Commission Meets May 14

MOREHEAD CITY –The state Marine Fisheries Commission will meet by webinar starting at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 14.

The public may listen to the meeting by phone or listen and view presentations in real time by joining online. Officials said directions for calling in by phone or joining the webinar online, including information on system requirements and testing, will be forthcoming and available online. Following the meeting, an audio recording will be posted online.

As required by the North Carolina Public Meetings Law, a telephone listening location will be available at the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Central District Office, 5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City. Capacity of the room will be limited to 10 and proper social distancing will be required. It is strongly encouraged that members of the public access the meeting remotely by webinar or by telephone.

Public comment will not be accepted during the meeting. Written comments can be submitted to the commission until 5 p.m. May 12 through an online format or mailed to May Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting Comments, P.O Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.  Public comment will not be accepted through email.

The meeting agenda includes votes on the following:

  • Approving two diamondback terrapin management areas in Masonboro Island Diamondback Terrapin Management Area and Bald Head Island Diamondback Terrapin Management Area, the southern coastal waters of the state, where fishermen will be required to use turtle excluders in crab pots.
  • Beginning the process to readopt seven rules pertaining to recreational water quality monitoring to protect the public health of recreational swimmers under a mandatory periodic review of existing rules.
  • Continuing the suspension of rules for several proclamations.

The agenda also includes presentations and possible votes on the following issues:

  • Recreational hook and line modifications pertaining to circle hooks and barbless treble hooks to reduce dead discards.
  • Repacking of foreign crab meat in North Carolina.

Additionally, Division Director Steve Murphey will update the commission about the state’s ongoing review of small mesh gill net management measures.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.