Tag Archives: N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is reopening the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee appointment process

The commission seeks a cross-section of applicants representing the various commercial and recreational shrimp fisheries, scientists with expertise in the areas of habitat or bycatch and gear innovation, especially with trawls and bycatch reduction devices, as well as individuals interested in shrimp fishing issues. Certain fisheries stakeholder groups were found to be underrepresented in the original applicant pool, specifically those who fish with large trawlers and those who fish in the Pamlico Sound. Adviser applications >available online here< or at Division of Marine Fisheries’ offices or by calling 252-808-8022 or 800-682-2632. >click to read< 11:28

NC Fisheries Association seeks to intervene in civil suit against state

The N.C. Fisheries Association, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the state seafood industry, filed Jan. 28 in Wake County Superior Court a motion to intervene in the civil complaint filed Nov. 10, 2020, by the Coastal Conservation Association’s North Carolina branch against the state. CCANC, a recreational fishing and conservation nonprofit, alleges state officials have mismanaged coastal fisheries resources. “Along with our motion to intervene, we have filed a proposed motion requesting the dismissal of the CCA lawsuit against the state,” the association said. >click to read< 07:02

Anti-Commercial Fishing Lawsuit demands NC coastal fishing reforms

The N.C. Coastal Fisheries Reform Group, a nonprofit organization, has said the degradation of marine fisheries is the most significant environmental issue facing the state, and it is going to court to seek change. Joe Albea, a spokesman for the organization, said that “vast schools of croaker and gray trout all over North Carolina in the sounds and along the beach” were present in the 1970s and ’80s. “Through the years we have lost those great schools of fish,” he said. Brent Fulcher, whose fishing vessel, the Micah Bell, is named as a defendant“,, Glenn Skinner, executive director of the trade group the N.C. Fisheries Association, believes the lawsuit is without merit. >click to read< 14:44

Tuesday is the deadline to comment on upcoming shrimp management plan changes

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries public scoping closes on Tuesday, Jan. 21, for comments on potential management strategies for an upcoming amendment to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan. The amendment will examine management strategies to further reduce bycatch of nontarget species in the shrimp trawl fishery and potential changes to existing shrimp management strategies, according to DMF. Written comments can be submitted, >click to read< 20:24

Fishermen blast N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries over southern flounder data

“I’m laughing at some of your data,” said Russ Howard during public comment, expressing the widely held view among the commercial fishermen that the DMF numbers are not accurate. “I don’t know how many nights you’ve spent out on the sound catching flounder,” he asked rhetorically.,, The commission, a nine-member board appointed by the governor, ultimately has the final say in adopting any amendments to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan (FMP). >click to read< 08:49

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries: southern flounder ‘overfished’; harvest cuts in works

State fisheries managers have released a new overview of commercially important fish stocks, and a commercial fishing advocacy group and the state branch of a recreational fishing conservation nonprofit seem supportive of its results.,, fisheries managers are working on Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. This amendment, if the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission adopts it at its meeting Wednesday through Friday, Aug. 21-23 in Raleigh, would implement measures to reduce both the commercial and recreational harvest by 62-72%. N.C. Fisheries Association President and commercial fisherman Glenn Skinner said,,,  <click to read< 09:39

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries issues proclamations that close striped bass season

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has issued proclamations that close striped bass season for commercial and recreational fishermen in all internal waters from just south of Oregon Inlet to the South Carolina line. Both commercial and recreational fishermen across the state could find themselves heavily impacted as the result of a new fishing ban passed at the special meeting Wednesday in Kinston. The commission passed a motion by a vote of 5-4 to ban the use of gill nets above what are known as the ferry lines, in areas of the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers. >click to read<10:06

County commercial fishermen get $460K in hurricane relief

The first round of state hurricane relief funds for commercial fishermen has been released, with Carteret County watermen receiving the most checks out of all the coastal counties. Gov. Roy Cooper’s office issued a press release Feb. 1 announcing that the first round of checks from the $11.6 million Hurricane Florence Commercial Fishing Assistance Program have been issued from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Marine Fisheries. As of Feb. 1, the state has cut 664 checks, totaling $3.2 million to help compensate ,,, >click to read<22:56

N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission panel in disarray ahead of quarterly meeting

Just as the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission convenes on Wednesday for its quarterly meeting in Raleigh, there has been a complete turnover of the panel’s commercial fishing members.
By statute, the nine-member board must include three members representing the commercial industry. Sammie Corbett and Alison Willis, both of whom have served since 2014, submitted their resignations Monday night.,,, Both the N.C. Fisheries Association and N.C. Watermen United sent letters Tuesday to state officials asking that no action be taken on any issues that affect the commercial industry until there is full representation. >click to read< 08:44

Fishermen from across NC speak out against increased commercial fishing regulations

Proposed changes to North Carolina commercial fishing regulations could threaten jobs across the state, and the supply of seafood to the region. Nearly 100 people spoke out at an N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries meeting Wednesday night with most saying they are fearful for the future of their jobs and their families. Almost all were opposed to increased regulations on commercial fishing. They say the commission’s proposed requirements could take away their right to earn a living. >video, click to read< 15:15

Letter to the Editor: Redefining a commercial fisherman

According to a N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) release, at the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) meeting last November in Kitty Hawk, there was a motion by Commissioner Chuck Laughridge to, “Ask the chairman to appoint a committee of commission members to develop a definition of a commercial fisherman, with staff support from the Division of Marine Fisheries, to bring an update back to the commission at its February 2018 meeting.”,, So why is MFC Commissioner Chuck Laughridge wanting to define what has already been defined? Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time the MFC has attempted to define, or rather redefine a commercial fisherman. The real question is why? >click here to read< 09:45

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

Temporary restraining order against the State in southern flounder lawsuit

57ebd4a356e5a-imageSuperior Court Judge John Nobles issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday during a hearing in superior court against the state enjoining officials from going forward with new southern flounder fishery regulations. Groups fighting the new regulations had requested a preliminary injunction. But the judge went with the TRO because not all of the defendants had been notified of the action. The next hearing date is to be announced, but officials hope to have it the week starting Monday, Oct. 10. Commercial fishermen and supporters of the civil action were present in the courtroom. Read the story here 13:40

North Carolina Counties and fishermen’s associations file lawsuit over flounder supplement

north_carolina_flagSeveral coastal counties have joined with commercial fishermen in litigation against the State of North Carolina regarding last year’s decision by the Marine Fisheries Commission to adopt new regulations on the southern flounder fishery by using the “Supplement” process. The complaint was filed on Sept. 23 in Carteret County Superior Civil Court in Beaufort. The plaintiffs include NCFA Inc., the Carteret County Fisherman’s Association Inc., Carteret County, Dare County and Hyde County. Defendants served with the complaint are the secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, the director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries and all members of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission. The practical effect of the litigation is to stop the closure of the recreational and commercial southern flounder fisheries, scheduled to take effect this fall. Read the story here 08:53

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries: Dealers will no longer need permit for pound-netted flounder

NCDMF_trnsprntThe state’s marine fisheries division has rescinded a regulation requiring seafood dealers to hold a special permit to buy flounder from pound net fishermen and to report those landings daily. Instead, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will require fishermen who hold pound net permits and are participating in the flounder pound net fishery to report their daily landings of flounder to the division. The daily reporting requirement will begin Sept. 1. The division will mail information about this new permit condition to pound net permit holders who have reported flounder landings in the past five years. The information will be sent by Aug. 5. Additionally, the division will schedule meetings to explain the new permit and reporting requirements to pound net fishermen. Dates, times and locations of these meetings will be announced once they are set. Read the rest here 12:20

Summer flounder’s new status from “viable” to “concern”reduces allowable catch

Fluke Summer FlounderThe stock status of most coastal fish did not change in the 2016 N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Stock Status Report, but one species was reclassified from the 2015 report. Summer flounder moved from “viable” to “concern” based on a 2015 National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Fisheries Science Center benchmark stock assessment for U.S. waters north of Cape Hatteras. The assessment indicated the stock of summer flounder was not overfished but overfishing was occurring, according to a NCDMF news release. As a result of the stock assessment, federal fisheries authorities lowered the allowable biological catch by 29 percent, which lowered the state-by-state commercial quotas proportionately. North Carolina receives the highest commercial quota share at 27.4 percent. Read the rest here – Read NCDMR Stock Assessment here 14:51

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries says Commercial and Recreational landings rose in 2015

NCDMF_trnsprntThe DMF issued the 2015 Annual Fisheries Bulletin on Tuesday, which includes landings reports on both commercial and recreational landings in North Carolina. According to the reports, commercial fishermen sold 65,952,115 pounds of finfish and shellfish to seafood dealers last year, 6.8 percent (4,178,075 pounds) more than the 61,774,040 pounds harvested in 2014 and higher than the five-year average of 60.5 million pounds. The dockside value of these landings rose from $93,906,612 by 10.7 percent ($10,062,090) to an estimated $103,968,702, topping the five-year average annual value of $84.2 million. Most notable among 2015 commercial fishing statistics were increases in shrimp and hard crab landings during the latter months of the year. Shrimp landings increased from 4,691,067 pounds in 2014 by 94 percent (4,406,593 pounds) to 9,097,660 pounds in 2015, the highest shrimp landings since 2008. Read the rest here 14:07

N.C Division of Marine Fisheries plans survey of commercial fishermen

NCDMF_trnsprntCommercial fishermen who fish in the Atlantic Ocean off of North Carolina may receive a questionnaire in the mail or by phone call in the coming weeks and months for an N.C Division of Marine Fisheries survey. The division plans to contact approximately 300 fishermen between now and August and ask them information about their fishing activity, perceptions, fishing expenses and demographics. The information gathered in the survey will be used to improve the state’s estimates of the economic impacts of commercial fishing and the effects of fishing regulations. It will also assist managers in making informed decisions on fisheries topics. Read the rest here  17:11

Fishing for answers in Louis Daniel’s resignation

bildeIn late August in a Raleigh hotel convention room, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director Louis Daniel welcomed a state representative to the podium. Daniel had invited Bob Steinberg, a Republican representing the state’s northern coastal counties, to speak at a Marine Fisheries Commission meeting about his work on an East Coast fisheries board. But when Steinberg took the microphone, he abruptly raised a topic that had broiled on the commission for months — restrictions on flounder fishing. He told commissioners that legislators were watching how they voted. One member asked if he was threatening them. The moment captured the drama that defined North Carolina fisheries management in 2015,.. Read the rest here 21:16

North Carolina Shrimp fishermen help state researchers gather data

When researchers head out this summer and fall to test gear to reduce NC shrimp, they will do so with an important partner. Area fishermen will be offering up their time and use of their private trawlers to help state researchers gather information on the effectiveness of various gears in reducing bycatch of finfish in trawl nets. Plans are to test three gear options in each the summer and fall shrimp fishery; a task that will involve the use of three trawls each season for about three weeks each. “We’ve budgeted 15 days for each vessel with a goal of 30 tows for each one of the gears,” said Kevin Brown, gear development biologist with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. Fishermen and others involved in the shrimp fishery have also had a say in what gears will be tested. Read the article here 14:37

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

Fight over flounder looks far from over – SBI investigating threats against fishery officials

NCDMF_trnsprntIn early December, the meeting hall of the Carolina Beach American Legion was crowded with sport fishermen from throughout Southeastern North Carolina. But the waters are far from calm for commercial flounder fishermen. The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has an active inquiry into threats made against one commission member. And as Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, prepares to institute the commission’s rules before the new year, some are weighing legal action — or hoping the legislature will intervene. Read the article here 16:19

Office of the State Auditor is looking at a potential audit of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

Dr. Louis Daniel, DMF director, confirmed Friday the division has been contacted about a potential audit. He said he received a letter from the OSA on Thursday. However, the letter didn’t include any details, such as the audit’s focus. News-Times staff contacted Bill Holmes, media contact for the OSA, with questions about the audit, including the reason for an audit. Mr. Holmes wouldn’t say who requested an audit of the division or why; he said at this point, the OSA is “just asking the DMF a few questions to help us evaluate whether we need to do any additional work. Read the rest here 10:24

Southern Flounder – Disputed fisheries studies: Politics or inexact science?

flounder-southernScience plays a big role in managing fisheries. Scientists assess fish stocks, migration patterns, environmental issues — useful data that allow regulators to set policy. We expect our science to be accurate and unaffected by politics, and as citizens, we expect political actors to treat science in the same manner.,, Yet a series of e-mails found their way into the public domain from a 2007 round-robin discussion among several N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries scientists trying to peg a mortality rate for speckled seatrout caught by recreational anglers. See video  It would take a few hundred words to demonstrate where science goes off the rails and how other factors, including interest group reactions, exert an influence on what is expected to be an unbiased, fact-driven process. Read the rest here 10:30

North Carolina: Some commercial fishing license fees jump 60 percent

The prices of six commercial fishing licenses has increased by 60 percent under a plan approved last year to help pay for the fisheries observer program while also providing funds to enhance the state commercial fishing industry. The new fees represent a 100 percent increase from two years ago under a plan to fund the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Observer Program that was proposed by the commercial fishing industry. The plan proposed by the North Carolina Fisheries Association,,, Read the rest here 17:11

North Carolina fisheries news updates

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries announced that as of Thursday, new tie-down and distance-from-shore restrictions will apply for gill nets in the western Pamlico Sound and rivers., In other fisheries news, the DMF announced that as of Wednesday, the striped bass season closed in the Central/Southern Management Area for the commercial striped bass fishery. Read the rest here 18:48

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries drops Commercial red drum harvest limit

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has announced a reduction in how many red drum commercial fishermen may harvest while fisheries officials assess the landing totals to date. Beginning Friday, the commercial daily trip limit for red drum will drop to four fish, Read the rest here 09:36

Two N.C. fishermen behind bars -Found with more than 16 times the legal possession limit of red drum

FISHERMENARRESTEDWhen the Marine Patrol officers inspected the contents of the truck, they found 113 red drum weighing 657 pounds, including 14 fish that were greater than the legal size limit and weighed 106 pounds.  Read the rest here 15:14

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries to consider new Commercial fishing-license applications

The Standard Commercial Fishing License Eligibility Board  is scheduled to meet 10 a.m. Sept. 17 at the Division’s Central District Office, 5285 Highway 70 West, Morehead City. Read the rest here 14:00

North Carolina: New rules set for gill-net fishing

Gill-net fishermen have new requirements designed to protect an addition to the endangered species list. The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries recently signed an agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service that implements a statewide incidental take permit for Atlantic sturgeon in the estuarine large-mesh and small-mesh anchored gill net fisheries. Read more here  15:26