New shrimp management measures will go into effect May 15 in North Carolina state waters. The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission approved the measures to reduce bycatch and protect habitat with the adoption of the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Amendment 2 at its February business meeting.
Division of Marine Fisheries Director Kathy Rawls implemented the new measures through Proclamation SH-4-2022, Proclamation SH-5-2022, Proclamation SH-6-2022, and Proclamation M-12-2022. Proclamations are available on the division website at https://deq.nc.gov/proclamations.
Management measures in the proclamations include:
- Prohibit shrimp trawling in the Carolina Beach Yacht Basin and Bogue Sound and its tributaries except the Intracoastal Waterway.
- Prohibit all trawling in the Crab Spawning Sanctuaries.
- Statewide recreational cast net creel limit of 48-quarts heads on or 30-quarts heads off.
The division will further explore initiatives identified in the Shrimp Amendment 2, including:
- Continue collaboration with the industry workgroup to identify and test gear modifications to further reduce bycatch in the shrimp fishery.
- Provide future action through adaptive management to address submerged aquatic vegetation issues identified through collaboration of the division, Coastal Habitat Protection Plan support staff, Habitat and Water Quality Advisory Committee, and stakeholder groups.
- Adaptive management to implement headrope limits to resolve user conflict.
- Investigate a long-term shrimp trawl observer program.
Information on Amendment 2 can be found on the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Information webpage. For more information, contact division biologist Chris Stewart at Chris.Stewart@ncdenr.gov or (910) 796-7370.