Commercial scup fishery opens January 1

Published 9:23 am Sunday, January 1, 2023

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North Carolina Marine Fisheries Proclamation FF-5-2023 sets the harvest period and limits for the commercial scup Winter I harvest period, north of Cape Hatteras.

This commercial harvest period opens Jan. 1, 2023 and will close at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, 2023 or when 80% of the quota is reached, whichever occurs first.

The size limit is nine inches total length and trip limit is 50,000 pounds of scup during the Winter I harvest period.

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Otter trawl vessels with a federal scup moratorium permit are limited to 1,000 pounds of scup from Oct. 1 through April 14; 2,000 pound from April 15 to June 15 and 200 pounds from June 6 through Sept. 30.

Scup traps or pots must have degradable fastener made of either untreated hemp, jute, or cotton string 3/16 inches or smaller, magnesium alloy timed float releases or fasteners, or ungalvanized, uncoated iron wire of 0.094 inches or smaller, a circular escape vent with a minimum of 3.1 inches in diameter, or a square escape vent with a minimum of 2.25 inches for each side, or an equivalent rectangular escape vent.

“The intent of this proclamation is to maintain North Carolina’s compliance with the requirements of the joint Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council-Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan.”