(a)  It is unlawful to leave stakes, anchors, nets, buoys, or floating devices in any coastal fishing waters when such devices are not being employed in fishing operations except as otherwise provided by rule or General Statute.

(b)  It is unlawful to leave pots in any coastal fishing waters for more than five consecutive days, when such pots are not being employed in fishing operations, except upon a timely and sufficient showing of hardship as defined in Subparagraph (b)(2) of this Rule or as otherwise provided by General Statute.

(1)           Agents of the Fisheries Director may tag pots with a device approved by the Fisheries Director to aid and assist in the investigation and identification of unattended pots.  Any such device attached to a pot by agents of the Fisheries Director must be removed by the individual utilizing the pot within five days of attachment in order to demonstrate that the pot is being employed in fishing operations.

(2)           For the purposes of Paragraph (b) of this Rule only, a timely and sufficient showing of hardship in a commercial fishing operation shall be written notice given to the Fisheries Director that a mechanical breakdown of the owner's vessel(s) currently registered with the Division of Marine Fisheries under G.S. 113-168.6, or the death, illness or incapacity of the owner of the pot or his immediate family , as defined in G.S. 113-168, prevented or will prevent employing such pots in fishing operations more than five consecutive days.  The notice, specifying the time needed because of hardship, shall be received by the Fisheries Director before any pot is left in coastal fishing waters for five consecutive days without being employed in fishing operations, and shall state, in addition to the following, the number and specific location of the pots, and the date on which the pots will be employed in fishing operations or removed from coastal fishing waters:

(A)          in case of mechanical breakdown, the notice shall state the commercial fishing vessel registration number, owner's N.C. motor boat registration number of the disabled vessel, date disabled, arrangements being made to repair the vessel or a copy of the work order showing the name, address and phone number of the repair facility; or

(B)          in case of the death, illness or incapacity of the owner of the pot or his immediate family, the notice shall state the name of the owner or immediate family member, the date of death, the date and nature of the illness or incapacity.  The Fisheries Director may require a doctor's verification of the illness or incapacity.

(3)           The Fisheries Director may, by proclamation, modify the five day requirement, if necessary due to hurricanes, severe weather or other variable conditions.  Failure to employ in fishing operations or remove from coastal fishing waters all pots for which notice of hardship is received under this Rule within 14 days of the expiration of the hardship shall be violation of this Rule.

(c)  It is unlawful to set or have any fishing equipment in coastal fishing waters in violation of this Section or which contains edible species of fish unfit for human consumption.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 113‑134; 113‑137; 113‑182; 143B‑289.52;

Eff. January 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. March 1, 1996;

Recodified from 15A NCAC 03I .0005 Eff. December 17, 1996;

Amended Eff. April 1, 1997;

Temporary Amendment Eff. July 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. September 1, 2005; August 1, 2000.