LET THEM SPAWN.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 483 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 27, 2019
AN ACT TO REQUIRE A MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT FOR CERTAIN SPECIES OF MARINE FISH TO ENSURE THAT SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE JUVENILE FISH OF THE SPECIES WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO REACH MATURITY AND SPAWN AT LEAST ONCE.
Intro. by Yarborough, Saine, Wray, B. Turner.

Status: Ref To Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate (Senate action) (Jun 24 2019)

SOG comments (2):

Long title change

House committee substitute to the 2nd edition changed the long title.  Original title was AN ACT TO REQUIRE A MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT ON ALL COMMERCIALLY AND RECREATIONALLY IMPORTANT SPECIES OF MARINE FISH TO ENSURE THAT SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF JUVENILE FISH OF EACH SPECIES HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO REACH MATURITY AND SPAWN AT LEAST ONCE.

Long title change

House amendments to the 3rd edition changed the long title. Previous long title was AN ACT TO REQUIRE A MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT FOR EVERY COMMERCIALLY AND RECREATIONALLY IMPORTANT SPECIES OF MARINE FISH TO ENSURE THAT SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE JUVENILE FISH OF EACH SPECIES WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO REACH MATURITY AND SPAWN AT LEAST ONCE.

H 483

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jun 19 2019 - More information

    House amendments to the 3rd edition makes the following changes. 

    Amendment #1 appropriates $10,000 in non-recurring funds from the General Fund to the Division of Marine Fisheries to implement the act, instead of reallocating $10,000 of the funds appropriated to the Division of NC Aquariums that was for the planning and permitting of a satellite aquarium area for the act's implementation.

    Amendment #2 amends GS 113-182.1(b) to require the addition of a minimum size limit for the specified species of fish (was, for every species of marine fish that has contributed historically and significantly to the state's fisheries, including those specified species) to ensure that 75% of juvenile fish at the minimum size limit will reach the size of maturity and have the opportunity to spawn at least once. Makes conforming changes to the temporary management measures in Section 3 of the act and to the act's long title. 


  • Summary date: Jun 18 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes. 

    Amends proposed GS 113-182.1(b)(8) to require the addition of a minimum size limit for every species that has contributed historically and significantly to the the fisheries of the state, including six specified species, to ensure that 75% of juvenile fish at the minimum size limit will reach maturity and will have an opportunity to spawn at least once (previously, to ensure the juvenile fish at the minimum size limit have reached the size of maturity and have had an opportunity to spawn at least once). Makes conforming changes throughout the act and to the long title concerning the minimum size limit requirement. Requires the minimum size limit established to be based on the best available biological and life history data for each species, and in the event data for a particular species is unavailable for the state, the Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) must use data from other Atlantic coast states until North Carolina-specific studies can be done. Eliminates the statutory requirement that the Division of Marine Fisheries (Division) and the Commission follow the size limit requirement for any new Fisheries Management Plans developed for species without a size limit or with a size limit that does not meet the 75% threshold. Also eliminates the statutory requirement that the Division and the Commission review all current size limits in current Fishery Management Plans to ensure compliance with the 75% threshold. 

    Concerning the Commission's rulemaking directive, eliminates the requirement that the Commission establish a minimum size limit for every marine fish species listed in the Division Stock Status Report and accompanying guidelines concerning the data to be used (now incorporated in the minimum size limit requirement set forth in proposed GS 113-182.1(b)(8) and the temporary management measure directives of the act). Makes conforming deletions. 

    Now requires the Director of the Division and the Commission to develop and adopt temporary management measures to be set in place until Fishery Management Plans are adopted that include the newly required minimum size limits. Requires the Director to review the biological and life history data currently available for every marine fish species that has contributed historically and significantly to the fisheries of the state, including six specified species (corresponding to those identified in proposed GS 113-182.1(b)(8)), and to present the Director's findings by December 1, 2019 (was, August 1, 2019). Now requires the Commission to adopt temporary management measures that establish minimum size limits based on the Director's findings to ensure that 75% of the juvenile fish at the minimum size limit established for each species will reach the size of maturity and will have an opportunity to spawn at least once (previously, required the Director to also authorize the Commission to impose these temporary management measures, as modified).

    Allocates $10,000 of the funds appropriated to the Division of NC Aquariums by Section 14.19 of SL 2017-57, as amended, for the planning and permitting of a satellite aquarium area, to be used instead for the act's implementation.


  • Summary date: Apr 16 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. 

    Amends proposed GS 113-182.1(b)(8) to require the addition of a minimum size limit for every species that has contributed historically and significantly to the the fisheries of the state, including six specified species, that corresponds to the likelihood of 75 percent of juvenile fish reaching maturity in order to have the opportunity to spawn at least once (previously for every species of marine fish listed in the Division of Marine Fisheries Stock Status Report; did not qualify species based on historical and significant contributions to the state's fisheries). Adds that the Division of Marine Fisheries (Division) and the Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) are required to follow the requirement for any new Fisheries Management Plans developed for species without a size limit or with a size limit that does not meet the 75 percent threshold. Also requires the Division and the Commission to review all current size limits in current Fishery Management Plans to ensure compliance with the 75 percent threshold. Makes conforming changes.


  • Summary date: Mar 27 2019 - More information

    Amends GS 113-182.1(b) to require the addition of a minimum size limit for each species of marine fish listed in the Division of Marine Fisheries Stock Status Report that corresponds to the likelihood of 75% of juvenile fish reaching maturity in order to have the opportunity to spawn at least once.  Allows an exception for species which have a unique life cycle and maturity characteristics that would undermine generally accepted fishery management protocols, in which case the Fisheries Director must propose slot limits to protect the adult spawning stock.  Requires the Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) to adopt implementing rules based upon best available data from North Carolina or, if none, from other Atlantic states.  Mandates the Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries review currently available data and present findings to the Commission no later than August 2019 to allow the Commission to impose temporary management measures establishing minimum size limits until Fishery Management Plans are adopted pursuant to this amendment.       


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