Black sea bass fishery opens in new year

Published 9:34 am Sunday, January 1, 2023

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North Carolina Marine Fisheries Proclamation FF-4-2023 opens the Atlantic Ocean commercial black sea bass fishery north of Cape Hatteras at 12:01 a.m., Sunday Jan 1, 2023, and sets the harvest period and offload limits. The fishery will close by proclamation or once 80% of the annual North Carolina quota is reached.

The size limit for black sea bass is 11 inches total length, excluding the caudal fin filament north of Cape Hatteras.

The harvest limit is 2,000 pounds of black sea bass in a commercial fishing operation employing fish pots, traps, and/or hook and line gear, regardless of the number of people involved.

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The harvest limit is 5,000 pounds of black sea bass if using trawls from Jan. 1 through March 31.

The harvest limit is 100 pounds if using any other gear.

Black sea bass traps or pots must conform to federal requirements for escape vents degradable fasteners.

Otter trawl vessels with a federal black sea bass moratorium permit are limited to 500 pounds black sea bass from Jan. 1 through March 21; 100 pounds from April 1 through Dec. 31 unless nets meet certain requirements.