SECTION .0200 CRABS

 

15A NCAC 03L .0201 CRAB HARVEST RESTRICTIONS

(a) It is unlawful to possess more than 10 percent by number in any container, male and immature female hard blue crabs less than five inches from tip of spike to tip of spike and to fail to return hard blue crabs not meeting this restriction to the waters from which taken, except the Fisheries Director may, by proclamation authority established in Paragraph (f) of this Rule, further restrict the harvest of blue crabs. All blue crabs not sorted into containers as specified in Paragraph (b) of this Rule shall be deemed hard blue crabs for the purpose of establishing the 10 percent culling tolerance.

(b) It is unlawful to possess blue crabs less than five inches from tip of spike to tip of spike unless individual crabs are sorted to and placed in separate containers for each of the following categories:

(1) soft crabs;

(2) pink and red-line peeler crabs;

(3) white-line peeler crabs; and

(4) from March 1 through October 31, male crabs to be used as peeler crab bait.

The Fisheries Director may, by proclamation authority established in Paragraph (f) of this Rule, further restrict the harvest of blue crabs.

(c) It is unlawful to possess more than five percent by number of white-line peelers in a container of pink and red-line peelers, except the Fisheries Director may, by proclamation authority established in Paragraph (f) of this Rule, further restrict the harvest of blue crabs.

(d) It is unlawful to:

(1) sell white-line peelers;

(2) possess white-line peelers unless they are to be used in the harvester's permitted blue crab shedding operation; and

(3) possess male white-line peelers from June 1 through September 1.

The Fisheries Director may, by proclamation authority established in Paragraph (f) of this Rule, further restrict the harvest of blue crabs.

(e) It is unlawful to possess more than 50 blue crabs per person per day, not to exceed 100 blue crabs per vessel per day for recreational purposes, except the Fisheries Director may, by proclamation authority established in Paragraph (f) of this Rule, further restrict the harvest of blue crabs.

(f) In order to comply with management measures adopted in the N.C. Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan, the Fisheries Director may, by proclamation, close the harvest of blue crabs and take the following actions for commercial and recreational blue crab harvest:

(1) specify areas;

(2) specify seasons;

(3) specify time periods;

(4) specify means and methods;

(5) specify culling tolerance; and

(6) specify limits on harvest based on size, quantity, sex, reproductive stage, or peeler stage.

 

History Note: Authority G.S. 113-134; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52;

Eff. January 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. April 1, 1997; July 1, 1993;

Temporary Amendment Eff. July 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. April 1, 2014; September 1, 2005; August 1, 2000.