30 May MFC will hear public comment on Southern flounder amendment
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet June 6 at 1 p.m. at The Beaufort Hotel, 2440 Lennoxville Road, Beaufort, to discuss proposed southern flounder management measures.
Theincludes a 1 ½-hour public comment period at the beginning of the meeting. Members of the public may speak to the commission on Draft Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. The chairman will allow each speaker to comment for three minutes on a first-come basis until time is up. Doors will open at noon.
CCA NC Executive Director David Sneed urged members in the area to attend the meeting and show support for the amendment that could lead to restoration of seriously depleted stocks. “Commission action on Southern flounder could set a precedent for future pro-resource policies,” he said.
The public may listen to the meeting on the Internet. Up to 200 participants may listen to audio and view presentations in real-time on a first-come basis. Directions for participating in the webcast, including information on system requirements and testing, can be found.
Following the meeting, an audio recording will be posted online.
The commission is scheduled to consider all public and advisory committee input, select its preferred management options in Draft Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan, and send the draft plan for departmental and legislative review.
Southern flounder is one of three main species of flounder landed on the North Carolina coast. The other two species are summer flounder and Gulf flounder.
Draft Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan contains options for several seasonal harvest closure scenarios to achieve up to a 72% reduction in southern flounder harvest for the commercial and recreational fishing sectors. Additionally, at the request of the Marine Fisheries Commission, the draft amendment includes an option for a partial moratorium.
Options for non-quantifiable management measures to constrain effort, such as yardage and time restrictions for gill nets and daily harvest limits for pound nets and gigs, are included in the draft amendment as well.
The commission is scheduled to give final approval of the draft amendment in August so that the management measures can be implemented by proclamation before this fall.