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Cobia recreation fishery opens May 1

North Carolina Marine Fisheries Proclamation FF-25-2021 opens the recreational cobia fishery in coastal fishing waters effective May 1, 2021. The recreational season will remain open through Dec. 31, 2021.

The proclamation maintains the season for the commercial cobia fishery.

For the recreation fishery, the size limit is 36 inches fork length or greater with a possession limit of one per person per day.

Private vessel possession limit for recreational purposes, that is all vessels not engaged in a for-hire vessel operation, from May 1 to June 30 is two cobia per vessel per day or one per person per day if only one person is on board; and from July 1 to Dec. 31, one cobia per vessel per day.

For hire vessel limit from May 1 to Dec. 31 is four cobia per vessel per day or one cobia per person if fewer than four people are on board.

For the commercial fishery, the size limit is 36 inches fork length or greater. The possession limit is two cobia per person per day or six per vessel per day, whichever is more restrictive in a commercial operation. “It is unlawful to possess a commercial and recreational limit of cobia on the same vessel.” If the commercial quota is reached the fishery will be closed or will close at 12:01 a.m., Jan. 1, 2022.

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