Tag Archives: N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission

A Brunswick County senator’s proposed resolution opposing catch-share fisheries management is drawing praise

In fisheries managed by catch shares, certain fishermen or companies are assigned individual limits for a given species during a season, a strategy the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says allows fishermen to make decisions based on market conditions and avoid hazardous weather conditions. Many North Carolina fishermen have expressed great concern about catch shares reaching their waters and are supporting Senate Bill 370. Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, introduced the bill, which would communicate to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries and the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission that the Senate opposes catch share management off the N.C. coast. continue reading the story, click here 22:43

Opponents of proposed shrimp trawl limits not backing down from fight

There was one common point as local residents on opposing sides of a shrimp trawling issue reacted to news that additional restrictions for North Carolina shrimpers will likely be on the way. The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted 5-3, with one member abstaining, on Thursday to approve a petition for rule-making from the N.C. Wildlife Federation, setting in motion a lengthy process of reviewing the rules proposed in the petition before a final decision is made. For commercial fishermen and those who work in the seafood industry, the long road ahead is one they are prepared to follow. “They are going to have a fight on their handssaid Tim Millis of B.F. Millis Seafood in Sneads Ferry. “People are not going to stand back. (The petition) is going too far.”  Nancy Edens of Sneads Ferry, a North Carolina representative with the Southern Shrimp Alliance, attended the MFC meeting Thursday and was disappointed by the vote of the commission. Continued reading here 07:41

N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Board stacked with special interests, votes to “Crack Down” on Shrimp Trawling

Carrying out a very transparent agenda to support special interest groups, the Marine Fisheries Commission voted Thursday to accept a petition from the NC Wildlife Federation (NCWF)  that warrants rules to the commercial trawl fishery – including a 3-day work week, day-time only fishing and drastic gear restrictions – that will shut down the state’s shrimping industry. The action took place at the MFC business meeting in Wilmington, Feb 13-15. Turning out in good numbers to side with the NCWF petition was the NC Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association, a group known nationwide for its mission to shut down commercial fishermen in the name of protecting public trust waters. They repeatedly discredited the state’s commercial fishing industry during the meeting, accusing fishermen of non-compliance and charging they don’t care about the resource. They even had a conference room next to the MFC meeting, where they held a membership drive and passed out propaganda. Continue reading the article here 08:54

Advisory committees recommend denying shrimp trawling limitations

Five advisory committees to the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission met Tuesday to contemplate a petition on restrictions to shrimp trawling. The Division of Marine Fisheries announced Tuesday evening that all advisory committees voted to recommend the Marine Fisheries Commission deny the petition for limitations. Marine Fisheries will make the final decision in February at a separate meeting in Wilmington. Video Read the rest here 20:28

BIG DAY AHEAD: North Carolina Shrimpers to argue against proposed industry restrictions

The public will have a chance to speak during a meeting in New Bern that could lead to commercial shrimp trawling restrictions in North Carolina. Multiple media outlets report five advisory committees to the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet jointly Tuesday at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center. The committee members will discuss a petition was filed by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation that would designate fishing waters in the sounds and three miles into the ocean as primary nursery areas to protect habitats for juvenile fish. Another change would be to limit the days and hours when shrimp trawling is allowed. Commercial fishermen say the proposed regulations would further threaten the shrimping business in North Carolina. link 07:41

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

Keep NC seafood (especially SHRIMP) on our tables online petition gains support

An Ocracoke resident has started an online petition to oppose a request from the N.C. Wildlife Federation before the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission for new rules that may put more restrictions on shrimp trawling. These petitions have come out while a fishing industry work group is about to receive information on bycatch reducing gear tests, and set priorities for additional tests this year. Megan Spencer of Ocracoke began a petition at the website change.org, a site dedicated to hosting petitions of all sorts, in early December. This petition, titled “Keep N.C. seafood (especially shrimp) on our tables,” calls for the MFC to deny a petition for rulemaking from the NCWF that, if granted, would designate all coastal fishing waters in the state not otherwise designated as nursery areas as special secondary nursery areas. As of Saturday, Ms. Spencer’s petition has received 1,427 signatures. In her petition, she says that local businesses, fishing families and coastal communities depend on catches from trawlers – namely shrimp – as a source of economic commerce and locally-grown, organic protein. Read the story here To read and sign the “Keep NC seafood (especially SHRIMP) on our tables”, Click here 12:26

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

Judge blocks closure of southern flounder fishing. Will it be appealed?

A Wake County Superior Court judge has issued an injunction preventing the NCDMF_trnsprntN.C. Marine Fisheries Commission from closing the entire southern flounder fishery from October 16 through January 1. During its November 2015 meeting at Jeanette’s Pier, the commission voted 6-3 to shut down both the commercial and recreational fisheries for southern flounder during the fourth quarter of 2016. A lawsuit was filed by the New Bern-based North Carolina Fisheries Association, the Carteret County Fishermen’s Association, as well as Dare, Hyde and Carteret counties, against the commission’s action, and resulted in a temporary restraining order being issued on Sept. 28. After two hours of testimony on Oct. 6 from attorneys representing the NCFA and the state, Superior Court Judge John Jolly, Jr. issued an order preventing the Division of Marine Fisheries from instituting the October 16 closure. When the MFC voted for the closure last year, interest groups from the commercial fishing industry, which were opposed to the ban, lined up against the recreation-oriented Coastal Conservation Association and Recreational Fishing Alliance. Read the story here 09:39

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. Senate wades into fisheries management – Commission would lose members, get supermajority requirement

NCDMF_trnsprntIt looks like the other shoe has dropped on legislators’ promise that they were “watching” the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission. A provision in the N.C. Senate’s version of the state budget, making its way through the General Assembly, would cut two members from the nine-person commission. A supermajority — five out of seven commissioners — would also be required for the commission to take virtually any action, including changing rules on fishing regulations. Per another provision, if the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality directs the commission to create a fisheries management plan supplement — a stop-gap measure intended to quickly protect species that may be in decline — it could not include strategies that were not a part of the original management plan or rules that “result in severe curtailment of the usefulness or value of equipment.” Read the rest here 15:39

Flounder and semantics heat up fisheries meeting, just “who” is a commercial fisherman?”

bilde Flounder and semanticsBefore state officials decide how to better regulate commercial fishing licenses, they’ll have to answer an important question — “just who is a commercial fisherman?” When members of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission met in Wrightsville Beach this week — their first meeting of 2016 — updating the state’s 17-year-old criteria for commercial fishermen was a hot topic. And it’s one that’s sure to be contentious — when Commissioner Alison Willis proposed a subcommittee to study the issue, she said she was putting her head on the chopping block. By the time her motion was worded as carefully as possible, it was a paragraph long. Read the rest here 16:14

Chef Keith Rhodes resigns from N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission after flounder fracas

chef resignsA prominent local chef has resigned from a state fisheries commission after a vote on flounder fishing restrictions that drew angry debate and social media comments. Keith Rhodes, chef at Wilmington restaurant Catch, resigned his at-large seat on the . His resignation letter was dated Nov. 20, the last day of the commission’s November meeting, during which members voted for limits on flounder fishing championed by recreational fishermen but vigorously opposed by the commercial fishing industry. He was one of six members of the nine-person commission who supported the final rules. Read the article here 11:42

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

Fisheries commission delays vote on southern flounder and Sammy don’t like it!

flounder-southernThe Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina has written to the commission chairman, Sammy Corbett, saying it is “infuriated” at his decision not to take up the topic until the next scheduled meeting, in mid-November. In August, Corbett said a special meeting would be held in September to consider the restrictions. “This is not your commission, but a governor-appointed body that includes diverse interests, tasked with the duty to safeguard and manage public fisheries resources for all of the citizens of North Carolina,” Bud Abbott, the organization’s president, wrote. Read the rest here 19:59

Makeup of N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission board invites political intrigue

State law authorizes a Marine Fisheries Commission to set policies governing the harvest of the state’s fish stock. It also says the commission is supposed to treat commercial and recreational interests fairly. But the commission was designed in such a manner that a balancing act between the two competing interests on the board is all but impossible.The board’s makeup also lends itself to political intrigue in the appointment of members by the governor. The problem lies in how the nine seats are allocated. Read the rest here 08:11

N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission decisions led to flounder debacle – Allyn B. Powell

I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of research in your Sept. 1 editorial “Fishy business on fish rules” on southern flounder. A recent stock assessment on southern flounder prepared by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries was rejected by independent biologists during the peer review process. Basically, the assessment was rejected because it did not consider that the southern flounder stock is an “open population.” That is, unknown numbers of southern flounder exit North Carolina waters to enter southern (South Carolina, Georgia and Florida) waters, some unknown numbers remain offshore after spawning and some unknown numbers might enter North Carolina waters from the south.,, Read the rest here 11:53

Tensions build leading up to NC Marine Fisheries quarterly meeting

The fish up for debate is the Southern Flounder, which is one of the most sought after fish in North Carolina. The NCFA and commercial fishermen in the state are uneasy about the possible changes. The groups say it would mean drastic reductions in bag limits for fishermen, which would eventually lead to a sharp price increase for consumers and less dollars for the families and communities of fishermen. Many fishermen say conservationists and other politicians aren’t happy with North Carolina laws that allow gill net use. Read the rest here 08:23

Would netters OK a flounder buyout?

During the run-up to a June 17 public hearing about southern flounder management, several members of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission asked that the meeting be held in Raleigh. Their chairman, Sammy Corbett, rejected their requests, and the meeting was held in New Bern. The reason for the request was that most of the public hearings the Commission holds are in the eastern part of the state, where commercial fishermen rule the roost (lmao!). So several Commission members wanted recreational anglers to have a better chance to speak. Read the rest here 12:12

Flounder Fishery Management Plan draws fire at NC Marine Fisheries Commission hearing

 Fishermen, recreational and commercial, along with environmentalists, scientists, seafood dealers and others spoke both for and against a proposed southern flounder supplement Wednesday. Around 160 people signed in at the hearing, of which about 66 voiced their opinions on the draft six-proposal supplement intended to reduce flounder catch – which includes both harvested flounder and dead discards – by 25-60 percent. One of the biggest items of contention between speakers was large mesh gill nets. Read the rest here 14:19

Scientist, legislators voice opposition to fisheries procedures of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission

A scientist and two legislators joined the state commercial fishing lobby in protesting the procedure planned by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission for possible drastic changes in regulation of the summer flounder harvest. The North Carolina Fisheries Association held a Monday morning press conference at Union Point Park in New Bern to challenge the use of a supplement approach to the management plan for the flounder. Six management plan proposals were quickly assembled since February, with a public hearing Wednesday in New Bern,,,Read the rest here 19:18

North Carolina Commercial Fishermen, Go to this public hearing

We urge attendance in a 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday public hearing in the New Bern River Convention Center that the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will hold to discuss southern flounder, the state’s most requested finfish. Representing the state’s commercial fishermen who serve the public, the N.C. Fisheries Association, is asking the Fisheries Commission to manage southern flounder in a fair and equitable manner, and it’s seeking fishermen’s participation in the hearing. Read the rest here  09:16

N.C. Commercial shrimpers will have to add second bycatch device on June 1

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission approved the new requirements as part of Amendment 1 to the N.C. Shrimp Fishery Management Plan. A bycatch reduction device is a fishing-gear modification designed to reduce the catch of finfish that do not meet the size limits or are too small to market.  Currently, North Carolina requires shrimp fishermen to use one state-certified bycatch reduction device in shrimp trawls and skimmer trawls. Read the rest here 13:47

Corbett tapped to chair Marine Fisheries Commission

For years, state officials asked Sammy Corbett to serve on the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission. And for years, Corbett said no. But eventually, he began to change his mind. So when the state came calling this year, Corbett finally said yes. Read the rest here 08:01

New chairman at the helm of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission: commercial fisherman Sammy Corbett

The N.C. Fisheries Association, a nonprofit that supports the state’s seafood industry, is pleased with Mr. Corbett’s appointment. NCFA Executive Director Jerry Schill said Monday he was at the special MFC meeting in Washington when Mr. Corbett’s appointment was officially announced. “I congratulated him and asked if he had unlimited minutes on his cell phone,” Mr. Schill said. “He said ‘yes,’ and I told him ‘good, because you’re going to need it.’” Read the rest here 12:18

North Carolina DMF treading water on JEA, waiting for approval from top government officials

The state budget, echoing a directive from the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, gave Dr. Louis Daniel, NCDMF’s executive director, the authority to enter into an Joint Enforcement Agreement with the  that would provide the state with an estimated $600,000 per year to allow the marine patrol and NMFS enforcement officers to respond to fisheries violations in either state or federal waters off North Carolina. Read the rest here 14:54

North Carolina: Commercial drum season reopens

While commercial fishermen said they saw a large abundance of red drum in the local waters and deny implications of hurting the resource, concerns have been raised by Coastal Conservation Association about the large overage and the possibility of illegal targeting of red drum by commercial fishermen. Read the rest here 19:15