N.C. Marine Fisheries opens public comment on Southern Flounder Fishery Management amendment

Southern flounder are one of three species of the flat fish caught in N.C. waters. [WalkingAngler.com image]

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting public comment on proposed management to implement comprehensive, long-term measures to achieve sustainable harvest in the southern flounder fishery.

Draft Amendment 3 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan contains a suite of management options to address seven management strategies. These include:

  • Sustainable harvest
  • Increased recreational harvest
  • Inlet corridors
  • Adaptive management
  • Sector allocations
  • Slot limits
  • Phasing out large-mesh gill nets

A companion Decision Document precedes Amendment 3 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. The Decision Document includes the Division’s initial recommendations and rationale. More information is available on the Information on Southern Flounder Amendment 3 webpage.

The public may submit comments on the Draft Southern Flounder Amendment 3 through an online survey or through mail:

  1. Submit Online Comments – Public comments will be accepted through an online form until 5 p.m. on Jan. 14. Click here to submit comments online.
  2. Mail Comments – Written comments may be mailed to Draft Southern Flounder FMP Amendment 3 Comments, P.O Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. on January 14, 2022.
  3. Speak During an Advisory Committee Meeting – Three Marine Fisheries Commission Advisory Committees will hold public comment on the draft amendment at the meetings listed below.

Emailed comments will not be accepted.

The division will hold a listening session at 1 p.m. on Jan. 5 where staff will give a presentation on details of the Draft Southern Flounder Amendment 3 and allow the public opportunity to ask questions. At the Marine Fisheries Commission advisory committee meetings, public comment will be accepted:

Date Time Meeting
Jan. 5 1 p.m. Online Listening Session
Jan. 11 TBA Northern Regional Advisory Committee
Jan. 12 TBA Southern Regional Advisory Committee
Jan. 13 TBA Finfish Advisory Committee

Meeting times and instructions on how to attend will be announced at a later date. Meeting information also will be posted on the Marine Fisheries Commission Advisory Committees Meetings webpage.
The Marine Fisheries Commission is scheduled to consider public comment and advisory committee input and select its preferred management measures for departmental and legislative review at its February 2022 business meeting and consider final approval of the amendment in May 2022.

For more information contact division biologists Michael Loeffler at 252-381-6002 or Anne Markwith at 910-796-7292.