Fisheries Department Accepts Comments on Experimental Black Bass Traps | News

SILVER SPRING, Maryland Carteret County residents and others interested in experimental fishing gear have the opportunity to provide feedback on the experimental black bass traps.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service accepts comments on an application for an exempt fishing license from Sustainable Seas Technology Inc. Applicant proposes to deploy modified black bass pots with underwater buoy retrieval systems acoustics in federal waters off North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and northeast Florida.

The project would examine the potential usefulness of the devices to be used in the black bass trap for the commercial snapper-grouper fishing sector while minimizing impacts on marine mammals and sea turtles.

The comment period is open until Wednesday. Comments may be submitted electronically or by post. Comments sent by any other method, such as e-mail, to any other address or person, or received after the comment period has ended, may not be considered by NMFS.

Application information is available online at

Commenters can submit comments online at by clicking the “Comment Now” button and entering or attaching comments. Commentators may also submit comments by regular mail by writing to Frank Helies, NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Fla. 33701.

According to the NMFS announcement, sonobuoy underwater retrieval systems are an example of gear that stores buoys and their retrieval devices at depth. These systems exist in the water column for minutes instead of hours or days because they are only activated via acoustic discharges when anglers are present.

“Currently, vertical end lines and buoys, such as those used for black bass traps, pose a risk of entanglement to the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, a species that migrates and calves off the southeast coast of the United States during the winter months,” it read. app information.

According to the Applicant, adapting “ropeless” systems to this style of trap fishing could reduce the risk to these whales and other marine animals that suffer from entanglement.

Black bass traps would be fished alone with a traditional setup and as experimental black bass trap setups (four regulation size traps linked together by wire connector clips) without vertical buoy lines on the live bottom. Virtual gear tagging would be used and evaluated, with analysis of system interoperability shared with fisheries management partners.

The proposed test area would be in federal waters off North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Sampling would take place from November 15 to April 30 each year at water depths of approximately 65 to 213 feet. Deployments would be limited to 35 total pots with an average soaking time of 90 minutes per configuration.

Comments are closed.