MFC advisory committees meet this week

Published 2:39 pm Monday, April 8, 2024

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Three advisory committees of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet in April to discuss a proposal to protect submerged aquatic vegetation through shrimp trawl area closures. The meetings will be held in person and livestreamed on YouTube.

Public comment will be accepted in person during the meetings, which are scheduled for:

– Northern Advisory Committee: April 9, 2024, at 6 p.m., Dare County Board of Commissioners Room, 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr., Manteo

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– Southern Advisory Committee: April 10, 2024, at 6 p.m., Marine Fisheries Central District Office, 5285 Hwy. 70 West, Morehead City

– Shellfish/Crustacean Advisory Committee: April 11, 2024, at 6 p.m., Marine Fisheries Central District Office, 5285 Hwy. 70 West, Morehead City

Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is federally designated as essential fish habitat and habitat areas of particular concern. These underwater grassy areas provide refuge and forage for juvenile fish and serve as spawning areas for many species. SAV also serves many other ecological functions. Shrimp trawling is one of several major threats to SAV.

The 2021 Amendment to the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan cites the need to further protect and restore SAV. The N.C. Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Amendment 2, adopted by the Marine Fisheries Commission in February 2022, contained a provision for the Division of Marine Fisheries to identify unprotected SAV and recommend further protective management actions.

The Division brought an initial proposal to the Marine Fisheries Commission in February 2024, and the commission voted to send that proposal out for advisory committee input. An interactive map showing layers for SAV, areas currently closed to shrimp trawling and areas proposed for closure can be found at

Meeting agendas and YouTube links can be found on the Advisory Committee Meetings webpage.