N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting public comment on
management options for the blue crab fishery. The management measures
are required under Amendment 2 to the N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management
Plan to improve the condition of the state’s blue crab stock.
•Southern Regional Advisory Committee. April 6, 5:30 p.m. N.C. Division
of Marine Fisheries Central District Office, 5285 U.S. 70 West,
Division staff will discuss the possible management measures and
receive public comment at the following upcoming advisory committee
Regional Advisory Committee. April 7, 5:30 p.m. N.C. Department
of Environmental Quality Washington Regional Office, 943
Washington Square Mall, Washington.
Advisory Committee. April 14. 6 p.m. N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
Central District Office, 5285 U.S.70 West, Morehead City.
Additionally, comments can be directed by phone
to division biologists Jason Rock at 252-948-3874 or Corrin Flora at
252-264-3911, or by email to [email protected] or [email protected].
•Increasing the minimum size limit for male and immature female crabs
•Establishing a seasonal size limit on peeler crabs
the tolerance of sub-legal size blue crabs to a minimum of 5 percent
and/or implementing gear modifications to reduce sublegal catch
•Eliminating the harvest of v-apron immature hard crab females
•Restricting the harvest of sponge crabs
•Prohibiting all harvest of sponge crabs and/or requiring sponge crab excluders in pots in specific areas
•Closing the crab spawning sanctuaries from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28 and possibly imposing further restriction
•Expanding existing and/or designating new crab spawning sanctuaries
•Closing the fishery by season and/or gear
•Gear modifications in the crab trawl fishery
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is scheduled to consider
management action at its May meeting. Possible management options
Management measures will be implemented by proclamation following the commission’s May meeting.
Management action is required under Amendment 2 to the N.C. Blue Crab
Fishery Management Plan, adopted by the N.C. Marine Fisheries
Commission in November 2013. Amendment 2 uses an adaptive management
framework, based on the condition of the Blue Crab Traffic Light, which
requires annual evaluation of three indicators to determine if any
change in management is warranted. The indicators are adult abundance,
the abundance of juvenile crabs in the stock (recruit abundance), and
production, which evaluates the reproductive potential or resilience of
The annual evaluation has been completed, and management thresholds have been exceeded, requiring management action.
For more information, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/home under “Hot Topics.”