Fishermen will be able to harvest bay scallops in North Carolina for the first time since 2005. Bay scallop harvesting will be allowed in Bogue Sound and all internal coastal waters south of Bogue Sound to the South Carolina state line.
North Carolina has had limited bay scallop harvest since 2006, after landings fell so low the state closed all waters to bay scallop harvest. Afterward, the state prohibited the harvest of bay scallops until 2009, when the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission amended the state’s Bay Scallop Fishery Management Plan to allow specific water bodies to reopen to bay scallop harvest for specified periods when scallop numbers reach specific predetermined levels.
According to North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, recent biological sampling in Bogue Sound found that bay scallop numbers were sufficient to allow harvesting, and under the current fishery management plan, waters south of Bogue Sound can open when it does.
Waters in other parts of the state did not reach those predetermined numbers and will not open to bay scallop harvests for 2013.
The Bogue Sound bay scallop season will open at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 28 and close at 4 p.m. April 1.
During this time, commercial harvest will be allowed from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday of each week. Commercial fishermen may harvest 10 bushels per person per day, not to exceed 20 bushels per vessel, regardless of the number of licensed fishermen working together on a vessel.
Recreational harvest will be allowed from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each week. Recreational fishermen may harvest a limit of one bushel per person per day, not to exceed one bushel if two or more fishermen are working from one vessel.
Recreational harvest limits cannot be combined with commercial harvest limits.
Scallops may be taken by hand, with hand rakes, hand tongs, dip nets and scoops. Dredging will not be allowed.
For specific regulations, see Proclamation SC-1-2013 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations
For more information, contact Tina Moore, with the Division of Marine Fisheries, at 252-808-8082 or Tina.Moore@ncdenr.gov.
source: North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries