An amendment is being developed to the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan.
The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, or DMF, and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, or WRC, are developing Amendment 2, which includes the northern and southern geographic managements.
The primary management strategy for Amendment 2 is long-term sustainable harvest in the estuarine striped bass fisheries.
DMF is holding the public scoping period Nov. 2-15 to solicit public comments on potential management strategies for the upcoming amendment.
Comments can also be submitted via web conference during two web meetings in November. Those wishing to speak at either meeting will need to register to speak at the 6 p.m. Nov. 5 online scoping meeting or to speak at the 6 p.m. Nov. 9 online scoping meeting by noon the day of the meeting.
Individuals will be allotted three minutes each for comment on a first-come-first-served basis. Comments will continue in order of registration and be balanced across management areas. Comments must be posted online or be received by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries by 5 p.m. Nov. 15.
The northern geographic management unit made up of the Albemarle Sound Management Area and the Roanoke River Management Area.
The southern geographic management unit is the Central Southern Management Area, or CSMA, and includes all internal coastal, joint and contiguous inland waters of North Carolina south of the Albemarle Sound Management Area to the South Carolina state line.
The benchmark assessment for the Albemarle Sound-Roanoke River stock indicates the striped bass resource is overfished and overfishing is occurring. There is no stock status determination for the CSMA stocks. Continuous stocking efforts and lack of natural recruitment in these waters prevent the use of traditional stock assessment techniques.
A scoping document outlining the potential management strategies can be found on the division’s Information on Estuarine Striped Bass Amendment webpage.
Submit the online form or by mail starting Nov. 2 to N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Striped Bass Scoping, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.