SILVER SPRING, Md. — Recreational and commercial fishermen will have new gear and harvest limits starting in May at artificial reef sites off the coast of North Carolina.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service announced Friday Regulatory Amendment 34 to the South Atlantic region’s snapper-grouper fishery management plan will go into effect Monday, May 3.
The amendment creates 30 special management zones around artificial reefs off of the state’s coast, including off the coast of Carteret County, as well as four off of South Carolina.
“The zones range in size from 0.041-1.01 square miles,” the fisheries service said in its announcement. “Harvest of snapper-grouper species will only be allowed with handline, rod-and-reel and spear in these zones. This action will prohibit the use of bandit reel, powerhead, pot and longline gear at these sites.”
In the special management zones off North Carolina, harvest of snapper-grouper species by spear will be limited to the applicable recreational bag limit.
Maps and coordinates of the proposed special management zones can be found online at fisheries.noaa.gov/action/regulatory-amendment-34-special-management-zones-smz.