Feds force state to close, restrict gill-net fishing in two areas

Marine fisheries' hand forced by too many turtles in nets

Jerry Dilsaver

May 15, 2012 at 11:26 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Interactions between endangered or threatened sea turtles and gill nets has led to further restrictions on commercial netting in two areas of North Carolina's inshore waters.
Courtesy NoMoreGillNets.org
Interactions between endangered or threatened sea turtles and gill nets has led to further restrictions on commercial netting in two areas of North Carolina's inshore waters.
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted at its May meeting in Atlantic Beach to close the lower Core Sound, Back Sound and the North River to all large-mess gill nets and to restrict the amount of nets that can be fished in an area from Lennoxville Point near Beaufort to the US 58 bridge between Emerald Isle and Cape Carteret.

The votes came on the heels of the National Marine Fisheries Service informing the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries that the state needed to lower the number of “interactions” between gill nets and endangered sea turtles. Closure of several areas and restrictions in other areas were determined by a 6-3 vote to be the best course of action. The three dissenting votes were cast by commercial members of the Commission, fish-house owners Mikey Daniels, Joe Smith and Bradley Styron.

Large-mesh gill nets are those with a mesh measuring 4 inches or greater.
At issue for the Commission was the fact that the NMFS did not believe that an Incidental Take Permit application filed by NCDMF would reduce interactions between netters and sea turtles to an acceptable level.
 
The Core Sound-Back Sound-North River area is known as the “D-1” area, and the area between Beaufort and the US 58 bridge is known as the “D-2” area. In that area, fishermen will be limited to 1,000 yards of gill nets instead of 2,000 yards.

"We did all the reports and applied for the state-wide ITP roughly a year ago,” said Dr. Louis Daniel, director of NCDMF. “The original ITP for the (Pamlico Sound area) expired in December 2010, and we were granted an extension through 2011 to be allowed to fish until the new ITP was issued. We thought it was forthcoming, but we were contacted (on May 3) and told we needed to lower the number of potential interactions. The request from NMFS was to rewrite the entire ITP and re-submit it. We had to find a way to reduce the interactions. Our staff is working diligently … but it is a daunting task.

"We had to do something to be proactive in reducing the sea turtle interactions and trying to get a new ITP issued. No one likes it for the fishermen in the D-1 area, but this area accounts for 53 percent of our sea turtle interactions each year. One of the things NMFS mentioned was to reduce incidents in the hot spots, and this definitely was a hot spot. At least there are some spots close by these fishermen can go to fish.”

The NCDMF and Commission have been walking a tightrope through a gill-net minefield for the past several years, since several species of sea turtles were added to the list of endangered species, while several others were listed as threatened – meaning they aren’t supposed to be bother in any way by fishermen, commercial or recreational. The difficult part for NCDMF has been that sea turtles and several species of commercially important fish live in the same habitat, and that makes for occasional interactions between turtles and gill nets.

NCDMF first banged heads with NMFS in the Pamlico Sound, which was closed because sea turtles were being trapped in gill nets and drowning. After research and changes in the equipment allowed and times nets could be used, the NMFS issued an ITP, which allowed them a specific number of annual interactions with turtles; if the number was reached, the gill-net fishery would close immediately.

Then, the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Recovery Center in Topsail Beach filed suit against the Commission and NCDMF charging that gill-net fishermen were still killing and injuring too many sea turtles. NCDMF settled the suit by changing time and gear limitations again, but the agreement required NCDMF to acquire a statewide ITP.
  

The NCDMF had been operating under the ITP proposed in its permit application, but it was that application that NMFS rejected. 

Daniel said that if NCDMF doesn’t receive a statewide ITP or an extention of the Pamlico Sound ITP, gill-netting in the Pamlico Sound area will not reopen. He said receiving a new ITP is critical, because NMFS could decide to close gill-net fishing statewide at any time.


View other articles written Jerry Dilsaver


Reports / Forum
Opening Day Success  This report contains photos  
April 13 at 2:44 am | 2007 Views | 3 Comments
1st Thunder Chicken  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 8:49 am | 1217 Views | 6 Comments
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 883 Views | 4 Comments
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 623 Views | 4 Comments
Black Bass Fishing is Great  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 5:21 pm | 541 Views | 0 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 487 Views | 3 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 469 Views | 1 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 421 Views | 1 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 409 Views | 1 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 287 Views | 0 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:43 am | 261 Views | 2 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 8:03 pm | 245 Views | 1 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 11:10 am | 213 Views | 1 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 6:47 pm | 211 Views | 1 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
14 hours ago | 121 Views | 0 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 10:39 am | 113 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
10 hours ago | 99 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
1st Thunder Chicken  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 8:49 am | 1217 Views | 6 Comments
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 623 Views | 4 Comments
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 883 Views | 4 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 487 Views | 3 Comments
Opening Day Success  This report contains photos  
April 13 at 2:44 am | 2007 Views | 3 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:43 am | 261 Views | 2 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 8:03 pm | 245 Views | 1 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 11:10 am | 213 Views | 1 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 6:47 pm | 211 Views | 1 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 409 Views | 1 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 469 Views | 1 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 421 Views | 1 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
10 hours ago | 99 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
14 hours ago | 121 Views | 0 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 10:39 am | 113 Views | 0 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 287 Views | 0 Comments
Black Bass Fishing is Great  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 5:21 pm | 541 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
Paisley's first turkey 
10 hours ago | 99 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
14 hours ago | 121 Views | 0 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 8:03 pm | 245 Views | 1 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 11:10 am | 213 Views | 1 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 10:39 am | 113 Views | 0 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:43 am | 261 Views | 2 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 6:47 pm | 211 Views | 1 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 487 Views | 3 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 409 Views | 1 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 469 Views | 1 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 421 Views | 1 Comments
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 623 Views | 4 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 287 Views | 0 Comments
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 883 Views | 4 Comments
Opening Day Success  This report contains photos  
April 13 at 2:44 am | 2007 Views | 3 Comments
Black Bass Fishing is Great  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 5:21 pm | 541 Views | 0 Comments
1st Thunder Chicken  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 8:49 am | 1217 Views | 6 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum

Free Classifieds

Late 60\'s Early 70\'s Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrell
Late 60\'s Early 70\'s Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrell
Late 60's Early 70's Eagle Arms by Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrel Shotgun. 26' Barrel, 3' shells. This gun was handed down to me and I am not a gun enthusiast, so do not have a need for it. Can provide more pics, info if necessary. Email...
April 16 at 5:30 pm | 57 Views
GUN HUNTS IN KANSAS
GUN HUNTS IN KANSAS
Only a few days left to get your Kansas deer hunting license & permits. Last day to apply is April 24th. I have 3-4 spots available for the exciting gun season Dec 8th thru Dec 14th. Come hunt with me in 'The Land of Giants' on privately managed...
April 14 at 10:51 pm | 41 Views
Wanted anything Dan Wesson.
Wanted anything Dan Wesson.
Looking for revolvers anything Dan Wesson, thanks please call Will at 919-937-7687...
April 16 at 5:04 pm | 16 Views
1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4x4
1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4x4
Very good condition 1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport. It has been very wellrnkept. It appears to have always been garaged and only driven on cityrnstreets and not been offroaded. This Jeep was owned and cared for by arnperson who appreciated nice things....
Yesterday at 5:06 pm | 16 Views
Brand New Carbon Express Cross Bow
Brand New Carbon Express Cross Bow
This is a brand new bow in the box never been opened never been fired. It is a Carbon Express X-Force 400 Cross Bow. It is a complete package with Rope Cocker and Rail Lube, 4x32 Deluxe Scope, Quick detach 3 arrow quiver, 3 20' crossbolts and 3...
April 15 at 7:38 pm | 37 Views