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Draft Fishery Management Plan for Spotted Seatrout in North Carolina N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission New Bern November 4, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Draft Fishery Management Plan for Spotted Seatrout in North Carolina N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission New Bern November 4, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Draft Fishery Management Plan for Spotted Seatrout in North Carolina N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission New Bern November 4, 2010

2 FMP GOAL Determine the status of the stock and ensure long-term sustainability for the spotted seatrout stock in North Carolina

3 FMP Objectives 1. Develop an objective management program that provides conservation of the resource and sustainable harvest in the fishery 2.Ensure the spawning stock is of sufficient capacity to prevent recruitment-overfishing 3.Address socio-economic concerns for all user groups

4 FMP Objectives (cont) 4.Restore, improve, and protect important habitats that affect growth, survival, and reproduction of the stock. 5.Evaluate, enhance, and initiate studies to increase understanding of spotted seatrout biology and population dynamics in North Carolina. 6. Promote public awareness regarding the status and management of the stock.

5 Status of the Stock Age based statistical model 2009 stock assessment indicated the spotted seatrout stock in NC/VA has been overfished and overfishing occurring throughout the entire 18-year time series ( ) Spawning Potential Ratio (SPR) is a measurement of the spawning potential of a population after the impacts of fishing mortality SPRs are below the DMF benchmark threshold and ASMFC recommended criteria of 20%

6 FMP Purpose  Recommend or maintain management measures that prevent overfishing and provide the long-term sustainable harvest for the fishery  Areas to be addressed: Habitat and water quality Socioeconomic factors Management strategies Insufficient data and research needs

7 Issues Addressed in the FMP Achieving sustainable harvest Impacts of cold stun events on the population Enforcement of size, creel limit and gear regulations in joint, coastal or inland fishing waters Management measures to address user group competition Closing the gig fishery Dec. - March 31

8 Sustainable Harvest Background 2009 stock assessment indicated the stock in NC/VA has been overfished and overfishing has been occurring throughout the 18-year time series. Issue Establish harvest reductions that achieve sustainable harvest by rebuilding the spawning stock biomass above the threshold level and end overfishing within 10 years.

9 Spawning Stock Biomass Overfished Status

10 Fishing Mortality By Sector Overfishing Status

11 Sustainable Harvest

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14 DMFSST ACMFC ½ reduction needed, 6 fish recreational bag, 14-inch minimum size for recreational and commercial, and weekend closure for commercial gears (no possession on weekends), gear will need to be removed on weekends, November- February Western Albemarle Sound and Currituck Sound exempt from weekend gear removal Same as DMF (commercial & recreational) Promote the use of barbless hooks No use of gill nets as RCGL gear to harvest spotted seatrout ½ reduction needed, 6 fish recreational bag, 14-inch minimum size for recreational and commercial, and weekend closure for commercial gears year-round (no possession on weekends). commercial gear will be allowed to remain in the water on the weekends A maximum of 3 fish over 24 inches for recreational fishermen small mesh net attendance requirement is extended to include weekends, December through February Recreational = 29.0% Commercial = 29.7% Same as DMF Recreational = 29.0% Commercial = 13-26%

15 Sustainable Harvest (cont) DMFSST ACMFC Regulations need to be in place for a minimum of 3 years to assess their effectiveness. The 5 year FMP review schedule needs to be adhered to The matter should be revisited within 3 years due to problems with the stock assessment model (ie., inability to account for mortality associated with cold stun, and lack of a stock recruit relationship) The matter should be revisited within 3 years to determine if sustainable harvest measures are working

16 Cold Stun Events Background Death of large numbers of spotted seatrout following severe cold spells has been well documented. Periodic increases in mortality associated with cold stuns should be considered when implementing management measures. Issue Periodic increases in mortality associated with cold stun events can have a negative impact on population size. Should information and quantification of cold stun events be considered for incorporation into fisheries models and/or management decisions?

17 Impacts of Cold Stun Events on the Population DMFSST ACMFC Give the sustainable harvest options the opportunity to work in rebuilding the stock to 20% SPR Status quo with the assumption that the director will intervene in the event of a catastrophic event and do what is necessary in terms of temporary closures by water body, but the director’s proclamation needs to be an informed decision based on quantifiable data and the outcome needs to be quantified post the closure Remain status quo with the assumption that the director will intervene in the event of a catastrophic event and do what is necessary in terms of temporary closures by waterbody

18 Impacts of Cold Stun Events on the Population (cont) DMFSST ACMFC More extensive research on cold stun events (DMF, universities, etc) Same as DMF

19 Enforcement Background MFC is responsible for managing, protecting, preserving and enhancing marine and estuarine resources, while WRC is responsible for regulating fishing activities in inland waters. Issue Improving compliance with and agency enforcement of management measures in joint and coastal or inland fishing waters

20 Enforcement of Size, Creel Limit and Gear Regulations in Joint, Coastal or Inland Fishing Waters DMFSST ACMFC Development of a mutual aid agreement between DMF Marine Patrol and WRC enforcement officers for inland fishing waters. Same as DMF

21 User Group Competition Background Commercial gill net and recreational hook and line fishermen have been in competition for seatrout, and in some instances, competition has escalated to conflict. Issue Determine management measures to reduce conflicts between recreational and gill net fisheries

22 Management Measures to address User Group Competition DMFSST ACMFC Move forward with the mediation policy process to resolve conflict between spotted seatrout fishermen Same as DMF

23 Closing the Gig Fishery December 1 – March 31 Background Operates in areas where water is clear during the cold winter months and fish are lethargic Issue AC voted for a closure of the commercial gig fishery Dec. 1 – March 31

24 Use of Gigs to Harvest Spotted Seatrout December-March DMFSST ACMFC Status quo. DMF to continue to track contributions of gigs to overall landings Same as DMF

25 Research Needs 1.Develop juvenile abundance index for better understanding of stock recruitment relationship 2.Research the feasibility of including measures of temperature or salinity into stock-recruitment relationship 3.Determine batch fecundity estimates for NC 4.Conduct area-specific spawning surveys 5.Investigate relationship of temperature with juvenile and adult mortality

26 Research Needs 6.Define overwintering habitat requirements 7.Study impacts of cold stun events 8.Develop model to predict/estimate the impact of cold stun events on local and statewide abundances 9.Investigate distribution in nursery and non-nursery areas 10.Further research on possible influences of salinity on release mortality

27 Research Needs 11.Microchemistry, genetic, or tagging studies to verify migration patterns, mixing rates, or origins between NC & VA 12.Tagging studies to verify estimates of natural and fishing mortality 13.Tagging studies to determine if there are localized populations within NC 14.A longer time series and additional sources of fishery independent information

28 Research Needs 15.Increased observer coverage in a variety of commercial fisheries, and over a wider area 16.Continue collecting fishery dependent information to describe the size and age structure of harvested population 17.Investigate the distribution in Inland Fishing Waters 18.Survey of fishing effort in creeks with conflict complaints 19.Determine targeted species in nursery areas and creeks with conflict complaints

29 Comments/Recommendations?


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