Tag Archives: Marine Fisheries Commission

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries to begin industry funded survey of shrimp trawl fishermen

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will begin contacting shrimp trawl and skimmer trawl vessel operators in the coming weeks for a survey about the types of gear they use.  The division wants to know what bycatch reduction devices and turtle excluder devices are currently used in the North Carolina commercial shrimp fishery. The survey also includes questions about overall gear configurations, as well as some socioeconomic information, such as costs and revenues of the shrimping business.The survey is being conducted at the request of the Marine Fisheries Commission and the commercial fishing industry. The survey is funded by the North Carolina Commercial Fishing Resource Fund, which receives money from commercial fishing license sales and supports a grant program that is managed by commercial fishing industry stakeholders. >click to read<  10:22

Calls for reform, and a coming resignation, as fight rages over coastal fisheries

A wildlife conservation group called this week for an overhaul in the way North Carolina manages its coastal fisheries, and a member of the policy-setting commission in charge is contemplating resignation. The N.C. Wildlife Federation voted Saturday to recommend a massive management consolidation over one of the state’s most contentious issues. Under their plan the Marine Fisheries Commission, a board appointed by the governor, and the Division of Marine Fisheries, which enforces rules day-to-day along the North Carolina Coast, would be folded into the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission. Video >click to read< 07:24

MFC draft plan would cut southern flounder harvest

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) heard a presentation on draft Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Friday during its meeting in Jacksonville and voted to send the draft plan to advisory committees and hold a meeting for public comment on June 3 at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City. A time has not yet been set. The draft amendment calls for significant management measures for the commercial and recreational fishery and includes significant harvest reductions for southern flounder coast-wide. >click to read<14:31

North Carolina: News for and about commercial fishermen

Governor Roy Cooper has appointed fish dealer/processor and owner of Pamlico Packing Doug Cross of Pamlico County and commercial fisherman and co-owner of Seaview Crab Company, Sam Romano of Wilmington to the Marine Fisheries Commission. They will fill the seats left vacant when former MFC Chairman Sammy Corbett, a commercial fishing dealer, and Alison Willis, wife of a commercial fisherman, resigned from the board just days before the last meeting thus leaving just one of the,,, >click to read< 11:01

Nort Carolina: New shrimping rules slowly migrate through sea of bureaucracy

Almost two years after it surfaced, a proposal to radically curtail commercial shrimping is crawling through the state’s rule-making process. The North Carolina Wildlife Federation petitioned the Marine Fisheries Commission for the new rules in November 2016, and after modifications, the panel accepted the request on Feb. 16, 2017. Several changes would cripple the shrimp trawling industry, critics say, and would raise the size limit on spot and croaker so high that they would effectively eliminate both fisheries for recreational and commercial fishermen. But the rule-making part isn’t on the horizon yet. >click to read<09:30

Commentary: CCA, GOP to blame for proposed license change – “redefining a commercial fisherman.”

Imagine you hold a state license in your profession, say as a general contractor. Then you start a side business that takes off. Maybe it’s a restaurant or a consulting business. Soon, it accounts for more than half of your income. At the same time, your original business continues to thrive while providing a valuable service and an irreplaceable part the family income.,, Then the State of North Carolina comes knocking, demands to audit your financial records and informs you that since you no longer earn more than 50 percent of your income from your “licensed” profession, you are no longer a general contractor. >click here to read< 09:31

North Carolina: Tighter requirements for commercial fishing licenses proposed

A proposal to tighten the requirements to get a commercial fishing license in North Carolina is nearing review by the state Marine Fisheries Commission following recommendations from a committee last week. But any changes to the rules for being able to carry what is known as the Standard Commercial License would require the final approval of the N.C. General Assembly. The panel, which was made up of commission Chairman Sammy Corbett, a commercial fisherman and dealer, recreation member Chuck Laughridge and scientist Mike Wickre, has submitted a list of five requirements. >click here to read< 09:08

Boswell, Cook sponsor bills aimed at shrimping rule petition

Two bills were introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly last week in response to the Marine Fisheries Commission’s recent endorsement of a petition for rule-making that could limit the shrimp industry in coastal waters. On Wednesday, Sen. Bill Cook (R-Beaufort) filed Senate Bill 432, which would require the completion of a study of shrimp gear. It also calls for gathering viewpoints from all sides. On Thursday, Rep. Beverly Boswell (R-Dare) introduced House Bill 545, which calls on the Fisheries Commission to follow the recommendations of advisory committees when exercising its rule-making powers. The bill would also require the commission to formally adopt a resolution of rejection when it acts against recommendations from the advisory panels. continue reading the article here 10:13

NC shrimpers say new rules for trawlers will destroy industry

The state Marine Fisheries Commission voted Thursday to begin drafting rules that would limit trawling for shrimp in North Carolina’s inland coastal waters, a move that many on the coast say could destroy the shrimping industry. The decision came after months of wrangling between commercial and recreational fishermen, with the latter group arguing that trawlers are scooping up millions of young fish before they’re old enough to spawn, effectively killing off fish stocks in the region. The North Carolina Wildlife Federation petitioned the state – the only one on the East Coast that allows shrimp trawling in its sounds and estuaries – to reduce the size of trawler nets, limit how long nets could be pulled in the water, permit shrimping only three days per week and eliminate night-time shrimping. “What just happened today is appalling,” said Brent Fulcher, who owns Beaufort Inlet Seafood in Beaufort. “The state process is broken.” Continue reading the article here 16:56

McCrory set stage for latest threat to shrimping

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission appears poised to pass a new regulation that many critics say will drastically impact, perhaps even shut down, North Carolina’s shrimping industry. On Jan. 17, the Marine Fisheries Commission will be holding a hearing in New Bern on the rule, which would essentially make all inland waterways a “secondary nursery” for fin fish, significantly curtailing the use of trawl nets to harvest shrimp. After a huge turnout at a public hearing in 2013, the MFC denied a petition from an individual angler to implement similar rules. But with anti-shrimping forces possessing what appears to be a super-majority on the MFC, the petition and hearings are back, this time proposed by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, a group closely allied with the Coastal Conservation Association — a special interest group that has long sought to ban shrimp trawls and finfish netting from the state’s inland waters. Ironically, local commercial fishermen, who have heavily supported the GOP in state elections, have former Governor Pat McCrory to thank for their predicament. Read the story here 10:56

Truths About Trawl Life – Fisheries advocates expose truths and misconceptions regarding drastic NC shrimp industry rule changes

In the name of environmental stewardship, a non-profit group based in Raleigh and Charlotte has aimed their fire at the state’s commercial fishermen. Stakeholders say this effort could ultimately shut down a historic industry. According to their website mission statement, NC Wildlife Federation (NCWF) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that “has worked for all wildlife and habitat bringing together citizens, outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and anglers, government and industry to protect North Carolina’s natural resources.” Their latest conservation effort is aimed towards a fishery that brings one of our state’s highest prized commodities to the table – fresh NC shrimp. Contrary to their mission statement, the NCWF has not brought together citizens in this effort, nor have they based their claims on industry facts. Calling the trawling industry “killers,” they’ve petitioned the Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) to drastically change rules for the fishery. Folks in the business of fresh seafood say these cuts will take fresh NC shrimp off the table for good. “Basically, the impact of this petition will be to shut down the NC shrimp industry,” said Jerry Schill, president of NC Fisheries Association. Fisheries advocates with NC Catch have compiled facts, complete with sources cited, to educate the public on some of the misrepresentation. This information, along with a host of benefits that come with enjoying fresh, local seafood can be found on their website, nccatch.org. Read the article here 11:40

North Carolina Wildlife Federation angling for tougher NC rules on shrimp trawlers

shrimp-petitionThe state Marine Fisheries Commission is considering a petition from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation to adopt regulations for shrimp trawlers operating in coastal sounds that would reduce the size of their nets, limit how long nets could be pulled in the water, permit shrimping only three days per week and eliminate night-time shrimping. The goal of the changes, according to Wildlife Federation officials, is to protect fish nurseries.”We have found doing the research – looking at the science, looking at the data and doing the analysis – that we are losing too many fish to shrimp trawling,” David Knight, a policy consultant for the Wildlife Federation, told the commission. “It’s kind of crazy that it comes up now because we just passed, last year, the shrimp plan,” commission Chairman Sammy Corbett said. One of the proposals would cut the length of the head rope attached to the top of a trawler net from 220 feet to 90 feet, among other restriction. Video, read the rest here 07:57

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

The Governor needs to fix the dysfunction at the Division of Marine Fisheries

NCDMF_trnsprntWe (Beaufort Observer) have reported a number of articles on the N. C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF). Our focus has been mostly on the inadequacy of the “science” DMF and its Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) use to regulate the fisheries industry in North Carolina. However, in the course of researching these articles we have learned a great deal about how the DMF operates. It is another classic tale of a bloated bureaucracy that has become entangled in . We’ll save the details for later articles we are still working on, but what we have seen in DMF has been a perfect example of “mission creep” and a “solution looking for a problem to solve.”  Read the rest here 10:51

The Division of Marine Fisheries, and its Commission, use inadequate science to regulate fisheries

81726ElNq23C21CF.medWhat if…humans can’t actually control nature to make it behave the way some humans want it to behave? North Carolina participates in a federally dominated system that attempts to regulate the fishing industry. They do this by setting quotas on when, where, how and how many fish can be harvested from the state’s waters (from the “inland” waters–approximately the tidewater area–to the three mile federal limit off our coast.) The legal premise upon which this regulatory system is based is that the fish and other life forms in those waters are a “public trust” and belong to The People. Read the op-ed here 12:57

This nonsense is why the price of Flounder will go up



When government appointees with a narrow agenda get power, watch out. That is exactly what has happened with the Marine Fisheries Commission and its control by the radical environmentalists of the CCA. They pass totally unjustified regulations that will reduce the supply of flounder and thus raise the price to those of us who like to eat it in restaurants or prepared at home. It is the seafood consumer who is the ultimate victim of the radical CCA. Of course, the commercial fishermen are hit even harder because they lose their livlihood to these extremists. Read the op-ed here 08:54

New Southern Flounder restrictions came from acrimonious debate

flounder-southernNew restrictions on catching southern flounder that go into effect in North Carolina on Friday were the product of an acrimonious debate. Local media outlets report that conservationists and people who fish recreationally are generally in favor of the rules, which they say are meant to reduce the number of fish caught and replenish the population of the fish. Commercial fishermen oppose the restrictions, saying fears about the flounder population are unfounded.  Read the article here 12:15

Waters still rough after new flounder limits

southern flounder chuck liddyNew restrictions on southern flounder stoke showdown between commercial, recreational fishing and conservationists. Neither side can agree on the science; dispute is over whether flounder is over-fished. Politicians keeping a close eye on the controversy. Lawsuits or legislation could follow. All that anyone agrees on in the politically charged controversy over southern flounder is that new regulations that go into effect Friday will reduce the number of fish that are caught. Read the article here 17:27

Fishing for facts on the Southern flounder in NC

flounder-southernSome claim that a 40 percent Southern flounder harvest reduction is needed to avoid a collapse of the stock, but there is no science to support that. Perhaps most disturbing is that the Marine Fisheries Commission has yet to receive any recommendations on the options from the Division of Marine Fisheries, professional experts who are supposed to guide the MFC on scientific and economic/social facts. Read the article here 07:46

At the Boiling Point – Southern flounder in N.C.

flounder-southernThe fish fight has erupted into an all-out battle focused on the state’s nine-member Marine Fisheries Commission, now tasked with finding a solution that will pacify policy makers, unburden fishermen and keep the flounder swimming. “I think this is relatively newer to the legislators, and I think they probably jumped the gun on it,” said commission member Mike Wicker, who is also a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “I think they want to represent what their constituency would like them to represent, but I don’t think they’ve had enough time to understand what their constituency wants.” Read the rest here 10:58

Who seems to be fighting who? – Battle for control of North Carolina seafood is complicated

North Carolina’s fishing resources generate millions of dollars a year, and many come to the beach to enjoy what they believe is freshly caught seafood that comes from local docks to the seafood market or a restaurant table. While some state government agencies spend tax dollars urging people to consume , other departments and even elected officials are exerting efforts in the opposite direction, essentially making it increasingly difficult for commercial fishermen to harvest local seafood. Left out of the equation are the consumers of seafood, restaurants, seafood markets, grocery stores and just about anyone else who does not harvest fish by their own hand. Read the rest here 10:15

David Pierce Named Director of Mass Division of Marine Fisheries

david pierceThe state Marine Fisheries Commission in July rejected the candidate Fish & Game Commissioner George Peterson had put forward to replace Paul Diodati as the director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries, but on Thursday, Peterson shifted gears to give the commission what it wanted. He provided an internal candidate from the current pool of DMF senior staff and the commission gave Peterson a new DMF director to succeed the retired Diodati. The commission, in a process that required almost no comment and took about five minutes, voted unanimously to appoint longtime DMF staffer David Pierce as the agency’s new director, effective immediately. Read the rest here 08:03

NC Commercial, recreational fishermen offer thoughts on proposed flounder rules

Dozens of commercial fishermen and recreational anglers told the Marine Fisheries Commission Wednesday just what they thought about a set of proposals to manage the southern flounder fishery. Six proposals are being considered by the panel. The public comment period opened June 10 and continues until July 10. Written comments may be submitted electronically to [email protected]. Mail comments to: Southern Flounder Comments, c/o Nancy Fish, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557. Read the rest here

North Carolina Fishermen prepare for hearing on southern flounder fishery

NCFAThe North Carolina Fisheries Association, the state’s trade association for the commercial fishing industry, is rallying commercial fishermen to attend the June 17 public hearing to be held in New Bern to express their concerns about a draft supplement to the North Carolina Southern Flounder Management Plan. Under the proposals, the commercial sector would take the biggest hit, with recommendations including a commercial Total Allowable Catch, 15-inch size limit, seasonal closures and a possible ban of anchored large-mesh gill nets in internal waters effective Jan. 1, 2016. Read the rest here 10:11

N.C. Charter Boat Captains not happy with proposed rules – Video

There weren’t very many positive words for the Marine Fisheries Commission at a public meeting Wednesday night. Charter boat captains are not happy with some proposed rules, especially with their log books. Captains would have to record what they see and catch. They say they don’t know what the commission will do with the information, and they worry they’ll be shut down because of it. Captains also said they just don’t think they’ll have time to fill out the logs. Read the rest here 07:54

NC General Assembly Proposal would establish Commercial Fishing Resources Fund

A proposal headed to the General Assembly would help the state meet requirements for the protection of sea turtles while also providing funds for projects that enhance the state’s commercial fishing industry. The plan, brought forward by the commercial fishing industry, calls for the establishment of a Commercial Fishing Resources Fund. Read more here  12:44

A Failed petition raises question about process

“It is unreasonable to expect these fishermen to come and defend their right to earn a living.”  “It’s more than just one man,” behind the petition said Chris McCaffity, a commercial fisherman from  Morehead City . “He’s just the mouthpiece.” McCaffity added that commercial fishermen are constantly being called on to defend their industry.   “It’s one thing after another, and it’s bordering on harassment here,” he said. [email protected] 10:24

Marine Fisheries Commission will decide Aug. 29 whether to approve a petition that has received opposition from commercial fishermen, others

North Carolina – New Members of Marine Fisheries Commission Sworn In – Recreational seat given to a lifetime member of the CCA.

Governor Pat McCrory announced his selection of three new commissioners to serve on the Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) on Tuesday, July 30, according to a press release from his office. The announcement came just in time for new appointments to be sworn in at a joint meeting of advisory committees and a public hearing on a possible shrimp trawling ban held in New Bern the same day. [email protected]