(a) It is unlawful to fish in the ocean from vessels or with a net within 750 feet of an ocean pier licensed in accordance with G.S. 113-169.4. The prohibition shall be effective when:
(1) Buoys or beach markers, placed at the owner's expense in accordance with the rules adopted by the Marine Fisheries Commission, indicate clearly to fishermen in vessels and on the beach the requisite distance of 750 feet from the pier, and
(2) The public is allowed to fish from the pier for a reasonable fee.
The prohibition shall not apply to littoral proprietors whose property is within 750 feet of a duly licensed ocean pier.
(b) It is unlawful to engage in any fishing operations known as trash fishing or scrap fishing. "Trash fishing" or "scrap fishing" consists of taking the young of edible fish before they are of sufficient size to be of value as individual food fish:
(1) For commercial disposition as bait; or
(2) For sale to any dehydrating or nonfood processing plant; or
(3) For sale or commercial disposition in any manner.
The Marine Fisheries Commission may by rule authorize the disposition of the young of edible fish taken in connection with the legitimate commercial fishing operations, provided that the quantity of such fish that may be disposed of is sufficiently limited, or the taking and disposition is otherwise so regulated, as to discourage any practice of trash or scrap fishing for its own sake. (1965, c. 957, s. 2; 1973, c. 1262, ss. 28, 86; 1985, c. 452, ss. 1-4; 1987, c. 641, s. 5; c. 827, s. 98; 1991, c. 86, s. 2; 1998-225, s. 3.4.)