Reviews of the Eastern Oyster and Hard Clam FMPs are underway. Previous plans focused on managing wild harvest and addressing shellfish aquaculture. With changes in shellfish leases, aquaculture, and franchises being addressed by the Shellfish Lease and Aquaculture program, the amendments under development will focus only on wild harvest. Additionally, stock assessments have not been completed for these species due to data limitations. The division seeks input from recreational harvesters on tools to gain accurate estimates of harvest and effort.
Scoping is the best opportunity for stakeholders to share their expertise on the oyster and clam fisheries to inform development of each amendment. The division has identified possible management strategies to explore when plan development begins. Eastern Oyster Amendment 5 will potentially explore different management for intertidal and subtidal oyster reefs. Hard Clam Amendment 3 will potentially explore management for mechanical harvest and maintenance dredging.
The Division of Marine Fisheries is developing Amendment 5 to the N.C. Eastern Oyster Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and Amendment 3 to the N.C Hard Clam FMP. The division will hold a public scoping period September 11-22 to solicit input on potential management strategies for the upcoming amendments and discuss stakeholder priorities. Scoping is the best opportunity for the public to inform the plan.
A scoping document outlining potential management strategies can be found below. Stock assessments are not available for these species due to data limitations. A joint management strategy looks to fill the recreational effort and catch data gap . Management strategies under consideration for Eastern Oyster Amendment 5 are divided by reef type, intertidal and subtidal reefs. Management strategies under consideration for Hard Clam Amendment 3 pertain to mechanical harvest and maintenance dredging.
Beginning September 11, the public can provide feedback through an Eastern Oyster online form, a Hard Clam online form, or submit written comments through the mail to N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Shellfish Scoping, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. September 22, 2023.
Below are the meeting dates and locations. All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. The September 21 meeting will also be available for public participation by web conference.
|Dare County Administration Building
954 Marshall C. Collins Drive
Manteo, NC 27954
|NC Department of Environmental Quality
Washington Regional Office
943 Washington Square Mall
Washington, NC 27889
|Cape Fear Community College
Union Station Building Room 470
502 N. Front St.
Wilmington, NC 28401
NC Division of Marine Fisheries
Division staff will give a short presentation and then the public will have the opportunity to provide comments. Following the public comment period, attendees will have time to discuss subject matter insights or concerns directly with species leads. Stakeholder comments, insights, and concerns will be considered in developing management strategies and management measures in Eastern Oyster Amendment 5 and Hard Clam Amendment 3.