Tag Archives: N.C. Fisheries Association

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

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

NC fishermen and their advocates say local festivals should sell local seafood

Dewey HemilwrightWe post a lot of articles about local festivals, for the fishermen! If the fishermen are not being served, we will not promote those festivals. We do not promote imported shrimp or Tilapia. Period. – Dewey Hemilright has spent more than half his life in North Carolina’s commercial fishing industry, but he says he has never heard a bigger fish story than the claim by the Outer Banks Seafood Festival that it promotes the harvest he and his colleagues work so hard to haul in.“It’s a deception,” he said, after first using a colorful phrase that rolls more easily off the tongue of a career waterman. “They’re telling people – or at least implying to people – who come down here that they’re going to get local North Carolina seafood. They’re not. What they’re getting is imported. But put that on your sign and see how many people show up. It’s not right. You shouldn’t have to read the fine print.” Read the story here 17:59

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

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

N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission to take action on southern flounder supplement

flounder-southernAccording to a release from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, the state agency that enforces marine fisheries rules and conducts fisheries research, the MFC is scheduled to select and approve management measures for supplement A to the southern flounder fishery management plan (FMP) Amendment 1. The proposed supplement, and the MFC’s use of the supplement process, has drawn both support and opposition. A recent release from the N.C. Fisheries Association, a nonprofit supporting the seafood industry, criticizes the proposed supplement. Read the rest here 15:35

National Geographic’s ‘Wicked Tuna’ visits Jack’s Waterfront Bar 5 to 9 p.m. Friday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Jack’s Waterfront Bar on the Morehead City waterfront will host a reception honoring the National Geographic channel show “Wicked Tuna North vs. South”from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.  Capt. Reed Meredith of the Wahoo, Capt. Gary Mayer of the Fishin’ Frenzy and Capt. Britton Shackleford of the Doghouse are the commercial fishermen who will make appearances. Read the rest here 11:42

Commercial fishermen seek to halt recreational angling?

You think the differences between commercial fishing groups and recreational anglers has been heated in the past? Well … consider this just in from the “you aren’t going to believe this” file. In the comment section: I’d care to bet the use of long line commercial and net techniques vastly outweigh the stray rec hook & line incident. These clowns are simply trying to divert attention away from an obvious fact: commercial netting is the #1 way to overfish any fish population. I can’t believe it! Read more here 08:49

RALEIGH NC: Observer funds, JEA clear state legislature

The legislature is pushing forward with a budget that will create a new fund for an At-Sea Observer Program for commercial fisheries and allow the state Division of Marine Fisheries to make a joint enforcement agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service.   While a commercial fishing organization first proposed the fund,  a joint agreement between state and federal fishery agencies.  <Read more here> 11:03

North Carolina: New commercial fishing fund in Senate budget plan

RALEIGH — The state Senate has passed a budget bill that includes a new commercial fishing fund proposed by the N.C. Fisheries Association and backed by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission.  Read more here  12:44

N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission – Certain waters to re-open to gill nets

Gill net fishermen will soon be able to return to the water, but no red drum caught in their nets as bycatch can be kept before the next season, which opens Sept. 1. The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission took action Thursday that re-opens waters in certain exempted areas to allow anchored large-mesh gill net operations beginning June 1. However, no possession of red drum will be allowed. Read more here 13:35

Coastal Conservation Association says commercial fishermen exaggerating how many sea turtles impacted by recreational fishing.

While plaintiffs (the NCFA and CCFA) imply that state hook-and-line fishermen accounted for 45 percent of sea turtle interactions according to 2013 North Carolina Sea Turtle Strandings and Salvage Network (STSSN) information, the actual STSSN data show that state recreational fishermen accounted for no more than 25 percent of fishing gear interactions with sea turtles and 4 percent of gear-caused sea turtle fatalities,” the CCA stated. Read more here  carolinacoastonline  15:00

N.C. Fisheries Association, Carteret County Fisherman’s Association consider legal action

Two area organizations representing commercial fishermen are willing to take their efforts from local waterways to the courtroom in order to get an accurate stock assessment to gauge the recovery of the sea turtle population. Read more here jdnews  12:09

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