Lawsuit in the works over Southern Flounder

s-flounder-white-backCarteret County will join fisheries groups in fighting the state Marine Fisheries Commission’s southern flounder supplement changes to reduce catch, which local fishermen say will kill the flounder industry here and cause a ripple effect in other local economic sectors. “I fished for a living, I know what the implications would’ve meant for my family if you’d have taken half of my income from the fall,” Commissioner Jonathan Robinson told the county board. “It means somebody’s not going to have Christmas. It means somebody’s going to have to decide whether to be cold this winter or have something to eat.” On his recommendation, county commissioners unanimously agreed to a resolution supporting a potential lawsuit from state and regional fishermen’s associations, primarily the N.C. Fisheries Association, against the MFC during their Monday meeting in the administration building. Consideration of the complaint follows the November 2015 adoption of a supplement to southern flounder management regulations, a process which critics say circumvented standard amendment procedures after stopgap reassurances in the form of stock assessments failed to pass peer review.  “It didn’t pass the smell test. The science was flawed. It couldn’t pass independent peer review – the chief criteria for the development of any new regulations,” Mr. Robinson said.  Read the rest here 14:19

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