Protecting the Resouce


North Carolina seafood is sustainable, and is widely recognized as a leader in fisheries management.  Our fishermen regularly partner with regulatory agencies and university scientists to conduct fisheries and harvest gear research.  This high-quality research often informs policy decisions which protect marine species and the coastal enviroment.

The Division of Marine Fisheries:

  • is responsible for monitoring fish stocks, enforcing conservation regulations, and protecting marine habitats.   

  • licenses fishermen and seafood dealers, who are required to record the species, amount, harvest location, and gear used for each seafood sale on a trip ticket.  These tickets are reported monthly so that managers can quickly react to any changes in a fishery.

  • manages all of North Carolina’s socially and economically significant species under a fishery management plan (FMP).  By law, the plans must ensure sustainability.

  • develops FMPs in collaboration with a committee of experts and stakeholders, and are regularly reviewed to ensure they are meeting the management objectives.    

Our fishermen must also comply with federal regulations.  North Carolina is currently subject to the rules and regulations of:

  • National Marine Fisheries Service

  • Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

  • Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council

  • South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

  • Highly Migratory Species

Check out the state’s annual Stock Overview Report.