Federal Waters off South Carolina Closed to All Fishing for Brown, White, and Pink Shrimp Through June 6, 2011

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Effective March 22, 2011, NOAA Fisheries Service has closed federal waters within 25 nautical miles of the state waters off South Carolina to the harvest of brown, pink, and white shrimp through June 6, 2011. South Carolina has closed its territorial waters to all shrimping as well. This action comes at the request of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the state of South Carolina. The state made this request after determining there has been greater than an 80 percent mortality of overwintering white shrimp due to severe cold weather in the region.
During the closure, no person may trawl for brown, pink, or white shrimp in the closed area. Any vessel trawling in a part of a closed area that is within 25 nautical miles of the territorial sea must use trawl nets with a minimum mesh size of four inches or greater. Possession of brown, pink, or white shrimp is prohibited on board a vessel in the closed area unless the vessel is in transit through the area and all nets with a mesh size of lessthan four inches are stowed below deck. The closure will be effective until the ending date of the closure in state waters, and may end earlier based on a request by the state. In accordance with the Council request, in no case will the closure remain effective after June 6, 2011. NOAA Fisheries Service will issue a new Fishery Bulletin announcing the re-opening.
For Further Information Contact: Steve Branstetter, 727-824-5305; fax: 727-824-5308.
This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the closure. Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the notice published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.