N.C. State Senate votes to delay changes to shrimping rules

The N.C. Senate voted Thursday to put up a hurdle to proposed rule-making by the state Marine Fisheries Commission spurred by a petition that calls for more limits on shrimping in coastal waters. SB 342 dictates that a collaborative shrimp gear study commissioned in February 2015 must be completed and reported by the stakeholder group created under a partnership of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries and North Carolina Sea Grant. The North Carolina Wildlife Federation asked the state to designate waters in the sounds and 3 miles into the ocean as primary nursery areas for various species starting Jan. 1, 2018. The request includes cutting the number of days shrimping is allowed, the amount of time nets can be in the water and the size of equipment that shrimpers can use. It would also set minimum size limits for croaker of 10 inches and spot of 8 inches. “Both of these actions would have a very detrimental impact on our shrimp fishermen,” a statement from the office of state Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, said.  click here to read the story 16:35