State officials are set to enforce a rule which establishes a 100-yard gill net setback from most North Carolina ocean beaches to protect bottlenose dolphins.
The new rule goes into effect on Sunday.
N.C. Marine Fisheries Director Louis Daniel has issued a proclamation that prohibits setting small mesh gill nets within 100 yards of the beach, except for the areas between Cape Lookout and Bogue Inlet and between Carolina Beach Inlet and the South Carolina line.
The restriction applies to commercially and recreationally-set gill nets with a mesh size of 5 inches or smaller. The restriction does not apply to strike nets used to surround a school of fish and immediately retrieve the catch.