The 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.
Division staff will discuss the possible management measures and receive public comment at the following upcoming advisory committee meetings:
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is scheduled to consider management action at its May meeting. Possible management options include:
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 stock.
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.”