Tag Archives: Jerry Schill

Representative Beverly Boswel is passionate about commercial fishing

I recently read the article, “The Boswell Backlash” by Michelle Wagner, dated March 21. As one who spends a considerable amount of time in Raleigh, representing our state’s commercial fishing families, I would like to offer some comments about Representative Boswell’s responsiveness and attentiveness to the issues facing that very important constituency in Dare County. Over the course of my 30 years of involvement in the legislative process while representing commercial fishing interests, I have found very few with the appreciation and zeal for assuring that commercial fishermen are represented in our General Assembly. Beverly Boswell is at the head of that list in the short time that she’s been in office. continue reading the letter here 09:05

Pamlico chamber to host meeting on shrimp proposals

The Pamlico Chamber of Commerce will hear Tuesday about the potential local effects from a recent Marine Fisheries Commission approval of changes to rules in the shrimping industry. The chamber membership will also hear about plans to start a new civic organization in the county. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at Pamlico Community College’s Delamar Center and it is open to the public. The major focus will be on the February MFC vote on a rule-making petition brought by the N.C. Wildlife Federation that could ultimately limit shrimping to three days on the Intracoastal Waterway and other estuaries and four days on the ocean up to three miles out, among other proposals. Jerry Schill, president of the commercial fishing lobby group North Carolina Fisheries Association will be the keynote speaker. continue reading the story here 20:41:1

Questions arise over commercial license fees collected for flounder fishery observers

Watermen want to know what happened to commercial license fees that were collected to fund observers required by law for flounder fishing when sea turtles are spotted in area waters. Few answers were provided at a meeting of the North Carolina Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee on Jan. 4. Records show that $1.3 million was allocated for the observers in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, but only $608,065 was spent. Dewey Hemilright, who attended the meeting, asked how so much could have been spent on the Section 10 permit program when the flounder fishery was closed much of the season. “Expenses need more accountability,” said Hemilright, a long-line fisherman. “This doesn’t affect me, but I’m willing to pay the extra money if it allows others to fish. But if there’s more being paid in than is needed, then it should be returned to the fishermen.” An additional license fee was imposed after a state appropriation to cover the cost of complying with the federal permit’s conditions was eliminated. One condition requires the observers, who monitor interactions with endangered sea turtles and sturgeon. Read the rest here 15:53

Fishermen, consumers rallying to fight petition calling for shrimp trawl restrictions

Jimmy Phillips estimates 100,000 pounds or more of shrimp comes through the family seafood market in a season; all of it fresh from North Carolina waters. “Yeah, it worries me,” Phillips said when asked about a petition for rulemaking before the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission that would put severe restrictions on shrimping in North Carolina. “It would affect shrimping tremendously, net fishing, and everybody,” Phillips said. Phillips is just one of many fishermen, seafood industry representatives, and concerned consumers who plan to attend a Tuesday public meeting in New Bern to express their opposition to the petition. The meeting begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Riverfront Convention Center. Jerry Schill, president of the North Carolina Fisheries Association, a nonprofit trade association representing the interests of commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, said the petition for rulemaking is “not only a referendum on shrimping but a referendum on the future of commercial fishing.” Read the story here 09:34

North Carolina: New trawl Bycatch Reduction Devices show promise

A state-initiated fishing industry workgroup is getting promising results with prototype bycatch reduction devices in shrimp trawls, and plans more tests this year. An industry work group created by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission met Monday at the Riverfront Convention Center to discuss ongoing testing of prototype BRDs, devices and gear configurations designed to reduce the amount of finfish and other marine life caught incidentally when fishing for a certain species, in this case shrimp. The group discussed the results of tests conducted in 2016 with four different BRDs towed by volunteer commercial shrimp harvesters, as well as set priorities for additional testing for this year. Last year was the first of a three-year research project the work group is conducting.  Jerry Schill, executive director of the N.C. Fisheries Association, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the state’s fishing industry, said the results from last year’s tests were “very positive.” “Even the (the work group members) were surprised at some of the results,” Mr. Schill said. “Ever since I started (in the fishing industry) 30 years ago, we’ve been trying to reduce bycatch in shrimp trawls.” Read the story here 15:01

N.C. Wildlife Federation Rule Making Petition’s aim: Gear bans or resource protection?

5839c2dcc8bf6-imageA conservation organization’s request that the state adopt stricter rules for shrimping and recreational spot and croaker isn’t sitting well with a local seafood industry advocacy group. Jerry Schill, president of the N.C. Fisheries Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the state fishing industry, says the association thinks the petition for rulemaking from the N.C. Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the state’s natural resources, will lead to gear bans that could put shrimping in North Carolina in jeopardy. However, David Knight, NCWF policy consultant, said the petition is meant to protect fish and their habitat and actually assist fishing communities by doing so.  The Southern Environmental Law Center presented a petition for rulemaking, on behalf of the NCWF, to the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Nov. 17 in Kitty Hawk at the commission’s regular meeting. Read the rest here 08:57

Inshore trawling reduction sought by N.C. Wildlife Federation – a petition for rule making?

nc-shrimpersThe N.C. Wildlife Federation announced on Nov. 2 its plans to file a petition for rule making that would designate all inside coastal waters along North Carolina’s coast as nursery areas to reduce by-catch mortality due to trawling. The Federation’s petition seeks amendments to several parts of North Carolina’s administrative code “in order to promote and ensure the viability and sustainability of North Carolina’s valuable fisheries resources for all citizens.” In doing so, it seeks to designate “all coastal fishing waters not otherwise designated as nursery areas as special, secondary nursery areas, to establish clear criteria for the opening of shrimp season, and define the type of gear and how and when gear may be used in special secondary nursery areas during shrimp season.” Yes! of course! As expected, representatives of commercial fishing interests disagreed. Read the story here 14:57

Jerry Schill, NCFA responds to outdoor columnist Ed Wall

jerry schillIn response to Ed Wall’s Outdoors column, “Fisheries should be managed for all, by all,” I offer the following comments. Mr. Wall mischaracterized my position on the referendum when he wrote that “Jerry Schill…is particularly disturbed by the fact that HB 1122 would allow a referendum on the issue by the state’s voters in the upcoming election in November. He is apparently concerned about citizens all across the state would be allowed to voice their opinions about something that he feels should be controlled solely by persons — and their representatives — in the coastal counties.” I never said such a thing. I do not favor an illegal action, and that is what it would be if the bill in question was passed as Rep. Billy Richardson suggests. On the subject of the net ban: Read the rebuttal here 22:38

North Carolina: House Bill 1122 – Limit Marine Net Fishing Bill

702A bill has been introduced in the state House that, if passed, would put it to a popular vote whether to ban gill nets and other forms of nets from coastal fishing waters in North Carolina. On May 10, Rep. William Richardson, D-Cumberland, filed House Bill 1122, also known as the Limit Marine Net Fishing Bill. The bill is before the House committee on rules, calendar and operations. One commercial fishing advocacy group said while they’ve been assured by legislators that HB 1122 will most likely not pass the rules committee, much like a similar bill submitted in 1995, it comes at a very bad time. Jerry Schill, president of the N.C. Fisheries Association, a nonprofit advocacy group for the state’s seafood industry, said HB 1122 is “almost the same wording” as a 1995 bill also introduced by Rep. Richardson. Read the rest here 10:55

Their proposal would hurt North Carolinians – Jerry Schill, President, North Carolina Fisheries Association

ncfa 3 finishedIn response to a letter to the editor, “Thoughts on marine fisheries,” Wednesday, March 16, I offer the following comments. It should be noted that the Kinston authors sent the letter to several media outlets. On the subject of shrimp trawling, the writers fail to acknowledge the many studies done by researchers over the years that have documented bycatch associated with this fishery and that despite decades of trawling, overall benthic productivity is dramatically increased. They also ignore the efforts by commercial fishermen to work proactively to reduce bycatch. Those studies began in the late 1980s and resulted with bycatch reduction devices in shrimp trawls. Currently, even though North Carolina is ahead of federal requirements to reduce bycatch, there is cooperative research ongoing to reduce it even further. Read the rest here 10:11

North Carolina Fishermen meet to determine disbursement procedures

NCDMF_trnsprntWork will begin today to establish procedures for authorizing the disbursement of money collected through a new state fund created to meet requirements for the protection of sea turtles while also supporting projects that enhance the state’s commercial fishing industry. The funding committee of the North Carolina Commercial Fishing Resource Fund and a corresponding committee of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission will hold their first meeting today at 2 p.m. at the division headquarters, 3441 Arendell St. in Morehead City.  of the North Carolina Fisheries Association said the meeting will be organizational as work begins to establish a Memorandum of Understanding. Read the article here 10:03

Dirty Politics – High rollers, big names back CCA agenda across U.S. & N.C.

“The CCA has nothing to do with conservation unless you consider sport fishermen having all of a certain species allocated to themselves as conservation.” Those are the words of author Robert Fritchey, who wrote the definitive book tracing the history of the Coastal Conservation Association, titled “Wetland Riders”. The CCA traces its roots to Texas in 1977 and was originally founded by mostly wealthy anglers in Houston. Fritchey ticked off the names of those early leaders in the first chapter: Read the rest here 07:27

Jerry Schill: Facts about North Carolina fish stocks

jerry schillRegarding the June 27 Point of View “The dark side to North Carolina’s fishing heritage”: In 2012, the General Assembly banned the purse-seining of menhaden off our coast, in part due to a stock assessment that was less than ideal. Three years later, we find that the stock assessment was incorrect, and menhaden are not overfished.Twice in the past few years through the recommendations of the Marine Fisheries Commission, we banned one type of commercial fishing and restricted the other based upon bad information. Read the rest here 20:12

Blue crabs lead banner North Carolina fish catch

blue crabBlue crabs were the stars in a banner year for North Carolina commercial fishing. Fishermen sold 61.7 million pounds of finfish and shellfish in 2014, a 23 percent increase over the previous year, according to a news release from the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries. It was the first year landings had increased since 2010. The dockside value was $93.8 million, the most since 2002. “It’s certainly good news, and good news is needed,” said Jerry Schill, president of the North Carolina Fisheries Association. Read the rest here 22:36

Fishermen voice concerns on new regulations at the Surf City Commercial Fisherman’s Town Hall meeting

jerry schillFishermen from up and down the coast gathered Tuesday in Surf City to make their voices heard at the Commercial Fisherman’s Town Hall Meeting. The meeting at Batson’s Galley Restaurant gave people in the commercial fishing industry a chance to ask questions and voice concerns about new fishing regulations. Rep. Chris Millis, R-Pender, was present along with  Jerry Schill, president of the N.C. Fisheries Association.  Read the rest here 20:05