The Division of Marine Fisheries is developing Amendment 5 to the N.C. Eastern Oyster Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and Amendment 3 to the N.C. Hard Clam FMP. The division will hold a public scoping period Sept. 11-22 to solicit input on potential management strategies for the upcoming amendments and discuss stakeholder priorities. Scoping is the best opportunity for the public to inform the plan.
A scoping document outlining potential management strategies for both amendments can be found on the division website under Shellfish Information Eastern Oyster Amendment 5 and Hard Clam Amendment 3. Stock assessments are not available for these species due to data limitations. A potential management strategy for both amendments could address data gaps pertaining to recreational effort and catch. Management strategies under consideration for Eastern Oyster Amendment 5 are divided by reef type (intertidal and subtidal reefs) and reef location (Pamlico Sound and Southern). Management strategies under consideration for Hard Clam Amendment 3 pertain to mechanical harvest and maintenance dredging.
Beginning Sept. 11, the public may provide feedback through a Eastern Oyster online formHard Clam online form available on the Shellfish page or submit written comments through the mail to N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Shellfish Scoping, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. Sept. 22, 2023.
Below are the meeting dates and locations. All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. The Sept.21 meeting will also be available for public participation by web conference.
Division staff will give a short presentation, and then the public will have the opportunity to provide comments. Following the public comment period, attendees will get time to discuss subject matter insights or concerns directly with species leads. Stakeholder comments, insight, and concerns will be considered in developing management strategies and management measures in Eastern Oyster Amendment 5 and Hard Clam Amendment 3.