Division of Marine Fisheries publishes annual stock overview

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries today released its annual Stock Overview of state managed marine fisheries species.

The 2021 North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Stock Overview reviews available information, such as long-term trends in catch, biological data and management, through 2020 to determine the overall condition of North Carolina’s state-managed species. It also provides links to information on federally-managed and interstate-managed species important to North Carolina.

Highlights of this year’s stock overview for state managed species include:

  • Estuarine Striped Bass–A 2020 peer-reviewed benchmark stock assessment using data through 2017 found that the Albemarle-Roanoke estuarine striped bass stock is overfished and overfishing is occurring. This triggered stricter harvest restrictions in the Albemarle Sound Management Area that took effect Jan. 1, 2021.  Amendment 2 to the N. C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan is being jointly developed with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
  • Shrimp­– In February 2020, the Marine Fisheries Commission approved proposed rule language to reclassify special secondary nursery areas that have not been opened to trawling in years to permanent secondary nursery areas. The commission adopted the reclassification of nine areas in February 2021 through a revision to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Amendment 1. The rules became effective in May 2021. Development of the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Amendment 2 is underway and focuses on further reducing bycatch of non-target species and minimizing ecosystem impacts.
  • Blue Crab­– Amendment 3 to the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan was approved in February 2020, and management measures were implemented to address the overfished and overfishing status of the stock based on results from the peer-reviewed 2018 benchmark stock assessment. Amendment 3 also contained the framework for establishing criteria for Diamondback Terrapin Management Areas (DTMA) where terrapin excluder devices are required. Two DTMAs were established in May 2020 in Masonboro Sound and the lower Cape Fear River, and beginning in March 2021, all pots used in these areas are required to have an approved excluder device in each funnel from March 1 to Oct. 31.
  • Southern Flounder– Commercial and recreational seasons implemented in 2020 reduced landings but did not fully meet reductions required by the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Amendment 2. Development of the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Amendment 3 is under way. Amendment 3 will examine more robust management strategies, such as quotas, slot limits, size limit changes, gear changes, and species-specific management for the recreational fishery.

For more information, contact Lee Paramore at 252-473-5734.


ASMFC 2021 Summer Meeting Webinar Supplemental Materials Now Available





Supplemental materials for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s 2021 Summer Meeting Webinar are now available at http://www.asmfc.org/home/2021-summer-meeting-webinar for the following Boards/Committees (click on “Supplemental” following each relevant committee header to access the information). For ease of access, all supplemental meeting materials have been combined into one PDF – http://www.asmfc.org/files/Meetings/2021SummerMeeting/2021SummerMtgSupplementalCombined.pdf.


Below is the list of documents included in the supplemental materials.


American Lobster Management Board – Revised Meeting Overview and Workgroup Report on Vessel Tracking Devices in Federal Lobster and Jonah Crab Fisheries


Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board – Revised Draft Agenda & Meeting Overview; Draft FMP Review; Technical Committee Memo on Review of Juvenile Abundance Index for the Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River;  Staff Memo on Potential Options and Timelines to Address Commercial Quota Allocation; Advisory Panel Nominations; and Public Comment


Tautog Management Board – Industry feedback on Tautog Commercial Harvest Tagging Program 


Sciaenids Management Board – Atlantic Croaker and Red Drum FMP Reviews; and Florida FWC Commercial Atlantic Croaker Implementation Plan 


Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Board Concurrent with Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council – FMP Reviews for Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass; and Policy Board Directive to Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board


Atlantic Menhaden Management Board – Public Comment


Business Session – Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendment Summary, and Draft Amendment for Public Comment


Webinar Information

Board meeting proceedings will be broadcast daily via webinar beginning Monday, August 2 at  1:30 p.m. and continuing daily until the conclusion of the meeting (expected to be 3 p.m.) on Thursday, August 5. The webinar will allow registrants to listen to board deliberations and view presentations and motions as they occur. To register for the webinar go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1268548762865393678 (Webinar ID: 606-517-315).


Each day, the webinar will begin 30 minutes prior to the start of the first meeting so that people can troubleshoot any connectivity or audio issues they may encounter.  If you are having issues with the webinar (connecting to or audio related issues), please contact Chris Jacobs at 703.842.0790.


If you are joining the webinar but will not be using VoIP, you can may also call in at 415.655.0052. A PIN will be provided to you after joining the webinar; see webinar instructions for details on how to receive the PIN. For those who will not be joining the webinar but would like to listen in to the audio portion only, you can do so by dialing 415.655.0052 (access code: 904-450-431).


Public Comment Guidelines

To provide a fair opportunity for public input, the ISFMP Policy Board  approved the following guidelines for use at management board meetings. Please note these guidelines have been modified to adapt to meetings via webinar:

For issues that are not on the agenda, management boards will continue to provide an opportunity to the public to bring matters of concern to the board’s attention at the start of each board meeting. Board chairs will ask members of the public to raise their hands to let the chair know they would like to speak. Depending upon the number of commenters, the board chair will decide how to allocate the available time on the agenda (typically 10 minutes) to the number of people who want to speak.

For topics that are on the agenda, but have not gone out for public comment, board chairs will provide limited opportunity for comment, taking into account the time allotted on the agenda for the topic. Chairs will have flexibility in deciding how to allocate comment opportunities; this could include hearing one comment in favor and one in opposition until the chair is satisfied further comment will not provide additional insight to the board.

For agenda action items that have already gone out for public comment, it is the Policy Board’s intent to end the occasional practice of allowing extensive and lengthy public comments. Currently, board chairs have the discretion to decide what public comment to allow in these circumstances.

In addition, the following timeline has been established for the submission of written comment for issues for which the Commission has NOT established a specific public comment period (i.e., in response to proposed management action). 

  1. Comments received 3 weeks prior to the start of the webinar (July 12) will be included in the briefing materials.
  2. Comments received by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, July 27 will be included in the supplemental materials.
  3. Comments received by 10:00 AM on Friday, July 30 will be distributed electronically to Commissioners/Board members prior to the meeting.

Comments should be submitted via email at comments@asmfc.org. All comments must clearly indicate the commenter’s expectation from the ASMFC staff regarding distribution. 


Tina Berger

Director of Communications

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

1050 N. Highland Street, Suite 200A-N

Arlington, VA 22201