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Floating gill nets permitted to harvest American shad

North Carolina Marine Fisheries Proclamation M-7-2021 opened two subunits in Management Unit A in the Albemarle Sound area to the use of floating gill nets configured for harvesting American shad.

The proclamation became effective at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Management Unit A-Subunit A1, North of US-64-BYP/US-64 includes Albemarle and Currituck sounds and their tributaries and portions of Croatan and Roanoke sounds. In this subunit, “it is unlawful to use fixed or stationary gill nets with a stretched mesh length other than 3¼ inches OR 5 ¼ inches through 6 ½ inches.

“It is unlawful to use fixed or stationary gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 3¼ inches unless the nets are set so as to fish the bottom of the water column and not to exceed a vertical height of 48 inches. Vertical height is defined as the distance between the top and bottom lines of the net.”

Management Unit A-Subunit A2, South of US-64-BYP/US-64 has is restriction:

It is unlawful to use gill nets with a stretched mesh length other than 3¼ inches. Section IV C of the proclamation states: run-around, strike, drift, drop and trammel gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 3 ¼ inches through 4 inches may be used.

“It is unlawful to use fixed or stationary gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 3¼ inches unless the nets are set so as to fish the bottom of the water column and not to exceed a vertical height of 48 inches. Vertical height is defined as the distance between the top and bottom lines of the net.”

In all of Management Unit A, “It is unlawful to use or possess more than 800 yards of gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 3¼ inches through 4 inches in any combination while engaged in a commercial fishing operation.”

It is the intent of this proclamation “to implement gill net restrictions in accordance with Amendment 2 to the N.C. Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan and allow fisheries for American shad and other species to occur while minimizing interactions with threatened and/or endangered species.”

Also included in the current proclamation is this: “Proclamation FF-2-2021 makes it unlawful to possess American shad for commercial purposes prior to 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, March 3, 2021, and after midnight Wednesday, March 24, 2021.”

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