Oyster mechanical harvest closed in Pamlico Sound bays

Published 7:09 pm Saturday, November 25, 2023

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North Carolina Marine Fisheries Proclamation SF-8-2023 closed Pamlico Bays to commercial harvest of oysters by mechanical methods at 2 p.m. on Friday, November 24. The bays will reopen in December for the remainder of the season.

It is unlawful to harvest oysters by mechanical methods in these areas: Wysocking Bay, East Bluff Bay, West Bluff Bay, Juniper Bay, Cunning Harbor, Swanquarter Bay, Deep Cove The Narrows, Rose Bay, Spencer Bay, Slade Creek, Goose Creek, Jones Bay, Bay River, Adams Creek, South River and West Bay.

Mechanical oyster harvest will be allowed Monday through Friday from sunrise until 2 p.m. each day. Oyster dredges must be out of the water and stowed on deck after 2 p.m. each weekday, outside restricted areas.

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Mechanical oyster harvesters may possess no more than 15 bushels of oysters while working outside of the restricted areas and may transport their catch through the restricted area to the point of landing.

A state statute requires mechanical harvesters to hold a Standard Commercial Fishing License with a shellfish endorsement. Crew members working under the direction of a person who holds a valid Standard Commercial Fishing License with a shellfish endorsement are not required to hold a shellfish license.