The public has until 5 p.m. Dec. 2 to share comments with the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission on the proposed readoption and amendment of a rule regarding shellfish growing waters, and proposed amendments to a second rule on mutilated finfish.
The first rule sets requirements for the harvest classification of shellfish growing waters in and around marinas, docking facilities, and other mooring areas. This rule proposed for readoption and amendment, under a state-mandated periodic review schedule, is to help ensure that the state is in compliance with national requirements so that North Carolina shellfish can continue to be sold through interstate commerce.
Proposed amendments would allow the state Division of Marine Fisheries to determine necessary buffer closures for shellfish growing waters in and around these areas based on a more scientific and public health-based rationale and make implementation and enforceability of requirements clearer, officials said.
The second rule is proposed with amendments to mutilated finfish requirements. Amendments would provide flexibility to manage variable conditions for the use of finfish as cut bait by simplifying the rule so that only species subject to a possession limit are subject to the mutilated finfish requirements unless otherwise specified in a North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission rule or a proclamation issued under the authority of a North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission rule.
A public hearing will be held by web conference 6 p.m. Nov. 1. A listening station will be established at the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office at 5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City. The public may join the meeting online. Register by noon Nov. 1 to comment during the hearing
Written comments can be submitted through an online form or by mail to N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules Comments, P.O Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.
Links to the public hearing registration form and online comment form, as well as text of the proposed rules and links to join the meeting, can be found on the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission’s Proposed Rules Page.
The proposed rule changes will be presented to the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission for final approval in February 2023 and have an earliest effective date of May 1, 2023.
For questions about the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission rulemaking process, email Catherine Blum, Catherine.Blum@ncdenr.gov, rules coordinator for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.