Commercial ocean flounder season open

Published 5:10 pm Monday, January 4, 2021

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North Carolina Marine Fisheries Proclamation FF-4-2021 opens the Atlantic Ocean commercial flounder season and establishes a 15,000-pound offload limit for the harvest period. Vessels can possess landing limits for other states, but it is unlawful to offload those fish in North Carolina.

The flounder fishery opened at 12:01 a.m., Jan. 1, 2021. The fishery will close by proclamation once the annual North Carolina quota is reached or at 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, whichever occurs first.

It is unlawful to possess flounder less than 14 inches total length taken from the Atlantic Ocean in a commercial fishing operation.

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To land more than 100 pounds per trip of flounder taken from the Atlantic Ocean a vessel must have a license to land flounder from the Atlantic Ocean. This is in addition to the normally required licenses.

“The intent of this proclamation is to establish harvest periods and limits for the taking of flounder from the Atlantic Ocean to assure that the quota allocated to North Carolina in the joint Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council/Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan is not exceeded. The summer flounder commercial fishery and management unit range is from Maine to North Carolina,” states the proclamation.