The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission, when it meets later this month in Beaufort, is expected to consider final approval of Amendment 3 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan.
A final vote is also expected on the N.C. Fishery Management Plan for Interjurisdictional Fisheries Information Update.
The in-person meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, and at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 26, at the Beaufort Hotel, 2440 Lennoxville Road. The meeting will also be livestreamed on YouTube.
Amendment 3 includes management measures that are based on the 2019 southern flounder stock assessment and requires a minimum of 52% reduction in total removals to rebuild the spawning stock within 10 years.
The interjurisdictional fisheries plan information update is a required five-year review to determine whether management measures comply with North Carolina law in protecting the long-term viability of the state’s commercially and recreationally significant species or fisheries. The plan originally adopted in 2002 and amended in 2008 covers 21 species or species groups jointly managed by regional councils, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Agenda items also include the selection of preferred management for Amendment 2 to the Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan and a presentation on the 2022 Striped Mullet Stock Assessment Report.
In-person public comment sessions are planned for 6 p.m. May 25 and near the beginning of the meeting Thursday, May 26. Public comment will not be taken through web conference.
Officials said the following information pertains to in-person public comment:
- Those who wish to speak may sign up at the hotel beginning at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 25.
- To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the chair will limit each speaker to 3 minutes.
- Those making comments will be asked to speak only once, either Wednesday night or Thursday morning, but not during both public comment periods.
- Those who wish to submit handouts to the commission during a public comment period should bring at least 12 copies to the meeting.
The public may also submit written comments via the following methods:
- An online form accessible through the Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting webpage.
- Mail to May 2022 Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting Comments, P.O Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557.
- Dropped off at the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Morehead City Headquarters Office at 3441 Arendell St., Morehead City.
Written comments must be received by 4 p.m. Monday, May 23.
The YouTube link for the meeting is to be posted on the Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting webpage. After the meeting, a recording is to be posted online.
View an aerial photo of the free parking area. Valet parking is $15. Tell the valet you are attending the Marine Fisheries meeting.