Striped mullet scoping meetings held; comment deadline Oct. 7
Published 10:12 pm Friday, September 30, 2022
The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries seeks public input on management strategies for the striped mullet fishery management plan.
Amendment 2 to the striped mullet plan is in development now. The current meetings are during the scoping period. On Sept. 27, 2022, division staff held an in-person meeting in Manteo.
The next meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Division’s Central District Office 5285 Hwy. 70 West in Morehead City. This meeting will be available virtually for comment through WebEx. The event number is 2436 717 6123, password is 1234.
The last meeting will be held Oct. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Division’s Wilmington Regional Office, 127 Cardinal Dr. in Wilmington.
The deadline for submitting comments is 5 p.m. on Oct. 7, 2022.
Information available online states that the “2022 stock assessment indicates overfishing is occurring in the striped mullet fisheries and the North Carolina striped mullet stock is overfished.
Stock status is based on the 2019 fishing mortality and spawning stock biomass. Both exceeded the reference points established in the Striped Mullet FMP Amendment 1. The North Carolina Fishery Reform Act of 1997 requires management end overfishing and achieve a sustainable harvest.”
A 33% reduction in total removals is needed to end the overfishing within two years. A 20-33% reduction in total removals is needed to rebuild the female spawning stock biomass to sustainable levels and end the overfished status within 10 years.
An independent, external peer review of the 2022 stock assessment approved the stock assessment for use in management for at least the next five years.
Possible management measures include quota management, fishing seasons, trip limits, size limits (minimum, maximum or slot limits), specific fishing days (weekday vs. weekend), gear modifications and area closures.
A five-page online form is available for public comment at deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/marine-fisheries/hot-topics/information-striped-mullet-fmp-amendment-2.
Public comment may be sent to N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Striped Mullet Scoping, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.