Atlantic commercial flounder season now open

Published 5:28 pm Sunday, April 9, 2023

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North Carolina Marine Fisheries Proclamation FF-19-2023­­ addresses commercial fishing operations in the Atlantic Ocean.

The 2023 season opened at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 1, 2023 and established a 35,000-pound offload limit per trip. Properly licensed vessel captains can possess landing limits for other states, but it is unlawful to offload those fish in North Carolina.

The fishery will close by proclamation once 80% of the annual North Carolina quota is reached, or at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, whichever occurs first.

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The proclamation states “It is unlawful to land from a vessel more than 100 pounds of flounder taken from the Atlantic Ocean more than once in any consecutive 5-day period.”

A fish dealer must contact the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries prior to a vessel offloading greater than 100 pounds of flounder taken from the Atlantic Ocean.

The authorized commercial fishing method is trawl.

States the proclamation: “The intent of this proclamation is to establish harvest periods and limits for the taking of flounder from the Atlantic Ocean to assure that the quota allocated to North Carolina in the joint Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council/Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan is not exceeded. The summer flounder commercial fishery and management unit range is from Maine to North Carolina.”