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#06-60 March 6, 2006

Marine Advisory Committee to meet March 10 in Charleston

The Marine Resources Advisory Committee to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Board will meet 10 a.m. Friday, March 10 at the Marine Resources Research Institute Auditorium, Marine Resources Center at Fort Johnson on James Island in Charleston.

The Marine Resources Advisory Committee is the liaison to the S.C. Natural Resources Board.  Natural resources board member John P. Evans of Orangeburg is chairman of the Marine Resources Advisory Committee. The meeting is open to the public. For additional information or directions, please contact the S.C. Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Marine Resources Division in Charleston at (843) 953-9300.

A major topic of discussion will involve “Pre-emptive Finfish limits.”  The DNR Office of Fisheries Management will provide information on a proposal to “preemptively” establish finfish size and bag limits.  This is in response to a potential legislative proposal put forward to DNR by the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) to modify the size and bag limits of several marine fish species.  The CCA’s proposal would increase the catch limit on red drum from two to three fish, and reduce the creel limits for flounder, sheepshead, and spadefish, while establishing a daily catch limit for black drum.  In addition, size limits would be increased for flounder and spotted sea trout, and size limits would be established for sheepshead, spadefish, and black drum. 
While current biological data do not suggest an urgency for these proposed changes, the CCA’s justification for the proposed laws is that it is better to preemptively establish modest protection for important finfish resources rather than impose measures after problems emerge.   As the coastal population increases, it is anticipated that fishing pressures will increase, thus potentially resulting in the over-harvesting of some species. 

The DNR will provide an analysis of the CCA proposal and discuss incorporating a preemptive management strategy for all marine resources.

Other items on the agenda include a summary of an upcoming flounder study, as well as an update on placement of the old Cooper River Bridge materials on local artificial reefs. Items on the agenda include:

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