Tag Archives: North Carolina.

You gotta read this! Congress considers extensive appropriations for environment, fisheries

A congressional committee recently proposed billions of dollars in environment, and fisheries related appropriations, which may help protect and restore the North Carolina coast and its fisheries. Not everyone supports the proposed appropriations, however. N.C. Fisheries Association director of government relations Jerry Schill said in a strongly-worded email Oct. 9 to the News-Times he has no plans on reading, studying or lobbying for or against the proposed budget. Mr. Schill said he was in Washington, D.C., Sept. 28 to work on labor issues that relate to commercial fishing.,, “It was a frustrating day because, well D.C. just plain sucks,” Mr. Schill said. “ >click to read< 14:59 (Billions $$$ to NOAA!)

Video: Shop in Shallotte creates nets for fishermen from the Pamlico Sound to Keys West

It’s one of the last shops of its kind, a little place in Shallotte that makes and repairs big nets fishermen use to catch shrimp. They sew them by hand for shrimpers up and down the coast. >click to watch< 12:15

“We’re in pretty bad shape,” Commercial fishermen, fishing industry decline over the past 20 years

North Carolina commercial fishermen have complained for decades that government regulations and a variety of other factors threaten their livelihood and have them headed the way of endangered species. Glenn Skinner of Newport, executive director of the North Carolina Fisheries Association an advocacy group of commercial fishermen, said statistics back that up. “These declines are the result of many different factors. with regulations, the fear of future regulations or outright bans on commercial fishing gears being a significant factor,” Skinner said. He said public perception and political agendas drive the regulations. >click to read< 11:26

Potter’s Seafood carries on the “historic heritage” of Southport

The small yellow building tucked in the corner of Southport’s Yacht Basin represents what’s left of the once prominent and bustling seafood industry in the town. The building is home to Potter’s Seafood, an institution in Southport that’s been selling local seafood since 1899. Royce Potter is carrying on the family tradition as the fifth generation of Potters to catch and sell seafood along the waterfront of Southport. The town, located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, once revolved around the fishing industry but now relies on tourism and Potter’s is the last of its kind. Video, photos, >click to read< 10:22

North Carolina commercial fishermen landed less seafood last year

In 2020, 42.9 million pounds of fish and shellfish were sold, a decrease of 19% from 2019 and about a 23% decrease from the previous five-year average, according to the Division of Marine Fisheries. The decrease in commercial harvest was linked to a 41.3% decrease in hard blue crab landings from 2019, which may be related to COVID-19 impacts. The Division of Marine Fisheries said several fishermen told officials that they found it difficult to move blue crabs at the beginning of the state’s stay-at-home order when many restaurants were closed. >click to read< 15:26

Political science drives net ban referendum – most people don’t even know what a gill net is

Cape Carteret town commissioners’ decision last week to endorse a statewide referendum on the use of gill nets in the state’s coastal waters indicates a willingness to relegate complex scientific issues to a political decision. This devalues the expertise of biologists and scientists in the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries who regularly make these decisions on behalf of all stakeholders, to help one special group – recreational fishermen. Commissioner Jeff Waters, in casting the only opposing vote, correctly noted that fewer gill nets are being used every year, But Mr. Waters offered a far more compelling reason not to support the bill and that is most people who would vote in the referendum, “don’t even know what a gill net is and wouldn’t know what they’re voting on and so would just vote against gill nets.” >click to read< 19:11

Cape Carteret commission endorses anti-gill net, net ban legislation

Cape Carteret commissioners Monday night endorsed state legislation that would set up a statewide referendum on whether to ban the use of gill nets and other “entangling” nets in coastal waters. The action to endorse House Bill 513 came during the panel’s regular meeting in town hall and virtually via GoToMeeting and was proposed by Commissioner Steve Martin. It passed by a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Jeff Water opposed. N.C. Fisheries Association Executive Director and commercial fisherman Glenn Skinner has voiced opposition to the proposed referendum and net restrictions.  >click to read< 17:04

Coronavirus pandemic moves local fishermen to embrace entrepreneurship

Thirty-one-year-old cousins CJ Owens and Jeff Frye, Jr. embraced entrepreneurship when commercial fishing hit a snag last year. “At the beginning of Covid, we had a hard time selling stuff because state lines were shut down and we couldn’t ship nothing out,” said Frye. “If we didn’t sell it locally, we didn’t sell it.” That dilemma inspired the cousins to open North Star Seafood, and also carries offerings from other local fishermen, Owens’ grandfather and father, Clifford Hill Owens, Sr. and Jr., both fished commercially. Frye fished alongside his father, Jeff Frye, Sr. and grandfather, Mack Liverman. photos, >click to read< 08:43

Douglas “Daddy Doug” Guthrie Sr., commercial fisherman, netmaker of Harkers Island, has passed away

Douglas was born March 27, 1942, on Harkers Island to the late Irvin and Bertha Guthrie. He was an avid commercial fisherman, his favorite fishing being channel netting for shrimp. Douglas was a lifetime netmaker and was the first in Carteret County to introduce mechanical clamming, of which he invented the prototype. In his earlier years, he managed net houses in Florida, but the local waters called him back home, where he enjoyed being on Core Sound with his family. Douglas was a loving husband of 59 years, faithful father to his sons, constant friend to his siblings and beloved papa to his grand and great-grandchildren. >click to read< 18:34

Teen commercial fisherman hooked on a career on the water

While many other young people are leaving coastal communities for careers elsewhere, Wyatt Casper decided to cast his lot as a commercial fisherman at home in Dare County. Unlike many of his peers, the seventeen year old is already his own boss, operating two fishing boats on the waters of of the Albermarle Sound. Of course being the boss means Caspers workday begins at 7, 6, or even 3 am. >click to read< 10:29

Offshore Wind Farms: Who determines energy policy in North Carolina?

Are offshore wind farms a job creating investment that makes North Carolina’s energy portfolio more environmentally friendly? That is debatable, but, more important, who gets to make the call one way or another? Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson doesn’t think it should be the left up to one partisan politician, and so, when >Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order last week< committing the state to pursuing such a strategy, Robinson wasted no time in clapping back that the policy – and the process – were suspect. “With this Executive Order, Governor Cooper attempts to commit North  Carolina to a future dependent upon unreliable, outrageously expensive, environmentally suspect, and socially irresponsible offshore wind power. This idea is not the economic gold-mine the Cooper administration would have us believe. >click to read< 13:05

In North Carolina, an ambitious goal – Cooper seeks to ignite offshore wind farm projects

The governor issued an executive order directing his Commerce Department to create a task force that would seek to advance projects and boost their economic benefits, and to name a clean energy economic development coordinator. Cooper’s order also sets a electric production goal for offshore wind energy of 2.8 gigawatts off the North Carolina coast by 2030 and 8 gigawatts by 2040. Meeting the 2040 goal would be the equivalent of powering roughly 2.3 million homes,,, >click to read<  Gov. Roy Cooper has set ambitious goals for wind energy off the North Carolina coast over the next two decades as part of his plan to fight climate change by shifting away from fossil fuels. >click to read< 11:08

North Carolina: Public Comment Opens for Shrimp Fishery Management Plan

The public has until June 30 to submit comments on proposed shrimp fishery management changes aimed to further reduce bycatch of nontarget species and minimize ecosystem impacts, the state Division of Marine Fisheries announced,, Draft amendment 2 to the shrimp fishery management plan contains a suite of management options that range from current management practices to a complete closure to shrimp trawling of all inside waters, including Pamlico Sound, according to the division.,, Draft shrimp amendment 2 also includes a shrimp trawl bycatch information paper,,, There are three ways to comment on draft shrimp amendment 2, >click to read< 12:51

North Carolina Commercial Fishermen can’t stay afloat under biased regulations

Many commercial fishermen feel like they’ve been playing defense for a decade, fighting for their livelihood. “It’s a hard day to fight when you get up and you know you’re fighting for your survival every day, and you’re regulated to the point where you can barely make it,” said Doug Cross. Cross runs Pamlico Packing Company with his brother.,, The storms and bad seasons come with the territory, but there’s another issue tangling these nets. “Regulation is the single biggest wild card,” said Cross. “How do you plan in the future without knowing what you’re going to be facing. >click to read< 17:00

James Farrell Styron, 89 of Davis, Commercial Fisherman, James Styron Fish Co., has passed away

James Farrell Styron, 89 of Davis, passed away Friday, May 7, 2021, at his home with family at his side. The eldest of four, James was born to Alice and Virgil Styron Aug. 2, 1931. James met the love of his life, Nadine, at Smyrna High School and they were married Oct. 21, 1950. Soon after, James served in the U.S. Navy. James returned to Davis to start his more than 40-year career in the commercial fishing seafood industry. In his lifetime, he fished several vessels, including the Lorraine, Gulf Stream, Ken-Pat and Dickie Boy, from the waters of Virginia south to Key West before later focusing on seafood sales. Beginning in Beaufort in the mid-1960s with his father Virgil, his business later migrated to Davis. James Styron Fish Co. was a thriving seafood venture with clients all over the country, >click to read< 09:59

Kathy Rawls named new director of N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

When Kathy Rawls becomes the new director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries on May 1, she will have plenty of experience to draw on. Rawls has been with the Division for more than 25 years, the past seven as the Fisheries Management section chief. She also will be the first woman to head the agency since the Fisheries Commission Board became the Division of Commercial Fisheries in the late 1920s. “There are already a number of women in pivotal roles at the division, and I do feel a responsibility to represent them and other female colleagues, but I also know that gender is not part of the job description,” >click to read< 13:29

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for April 02, 2021

Legislative updates, Bill updates, Calendar, >Click here to read the Weekly Update<, to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<09:01

North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission selects sector allocations for southern flounder plan amendment

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission selected sector harvest allocations of 70% commercial and 30% recreational for the upcoming Amendment 3 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. The commission voted on the allocations at its quarterly business meeting Feb. 26, 2021. At its November 2020 meeting, the commission asked the Division of Marine Fisheries to consider several different options for sector harvest allocations in the draft plan amendment, including commercial/recreational splits of 70/30, 65/35, 60/30 with a 10% allotment for gigging, 60/40, and 50/50. >click to read< 10:46

Leslie “Buddy” Rose, 81, of Harkers Island has passed away

Leslie Roger “Buddy” Rose was born July 15, 1939, to Leslie and Christine Rose on Harkers Island, being the first son after seven daughters. Six more children followed Leslie. His father, Leslie, was a commercial fisherman with Stacy Davis for at least 20 years. Times were hard for a family that size on a fisherman’s pay.  As a teenager, he commercial fished with Ivey Gaskill,,,  He and his wife Ann decided to take a chance on starting his own boatbuilding business. It was tough starting with nothing, especially that first year or so, but eventually things improved.  Leslie built 62 boats over a 17-year period, sending boats as far north as Massachusetts and as far south as Florida. >click to read< 19:04

Jetties Needed at Oregon Inlet

Congressman Greg Murphy is lending his voice to reviving pursuit of twin jetties to prevent sand clogging the inlet’s navigation channel. The inlet, the only opening from sound to ocean between Virginia and Hatteras, has been badly shoaled from recent storms, making it hazardous for fishing vessels and charter boats to navigate. The authorized depth of the navigation channel is 14 feet, although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has had difficulty maintaining the channel to that specification. With the new Basnight Bridge having multiple high spans, there is now flexibility to re-mark the navigational channel to follow best water, but shoaling persists. >click to read< 08:22

Three fishermen saved after shrimp boat sinks off North Topsail Beach

On Dec. 30, Lawrence Hansley and two others headed out to sea with Hansley’s shrimp boat, Salty Boy. It’d been six or seven months since he was on the inlet. While out on the water, the team entered a channel not far off NTB. “We went through a set of buoys, and I know we had to line up for the red buoys, but we didn’t see the red buoy,” said Hansley. That’s when they were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. The boat touched the bottom of the seafloor, coming up onto a sand bar, and ran aground. >video, click to read< 08:10

One lawsuit dismissed, another filed against State of North Carolina over fisheries management

The latest suit was filed on Tuesday in state court, the same day another group’s legal action against government officials’ management of marine fisheries in North Carolina was dismissed in federal court. The Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina, along with 86 North Carolinians, filed their civil action Tuesday against the state in Wake County Superior Court. In an unrelated case, an organization called the North Carolina Coastal Fisheries Reform Group filed a federal lawsuit in August saying regulations that allow large, ocean-going shrimp trawlers to work in the state’s sounds violated the Clean Water Act. >click to read< 08:01

North Carolina shrimpers, fishermen concerned about mislabeled seafood

While brown shrimp, the most abundant of North Carolina’s shrimp landings, are typically harvested in the summer, now is the time for the whites, or green tails. “They are sweeter,” said Corey Galloway, with High Rider. “And when the water cools they are even better.” For Galloway, fall and winter weather improves a lot of local seafood. Breece Gahl of Fresh2U Seafood in Wrightsville Beach, for example, is looking forward to the wild oyster season, which begins Oct. 15. Until the pandemic, he often supplied seafood to restaurants. Earlier this year, Gahl switched to a “shore to door” delivery service and has been a regular at local farmers markets,, Pandemic related concerns aren’t at the forefront for this industry, though. Local shrimpers and fishermen are instead still being challenged by ongoing issues. >click to read< 07:35

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

Recreational fishers file lawsuit against State of N.C, and commercial shrimpers

After following this story for over a year, Recreational fishermen are suing North Carolina and commercial shrimpers, accusing them of diminishing fishing populations in the Pamlico Sound.,, The fishers said once the lawsuit is served to the state and shrimpers, they’ll have 21 days to respond. WNCT reached out to North Carolina’s Dept. of Environmental Equality, The State Division of Marine Fisheries, and The North Carolina Fisheries Association. All have declined to speak at this time. >click to read< 15:11

Jonathan Robinson, commercial fishing advocate, Carteret County Commissioner and former N.C. House member

The county announced Carteret County Commissioner and former N.C. House member Jonathan Robinson, 68, of Atlantic, died late Thursday. In a brief Friday morning release, the county said it is “deeply sadden(ed)” by the commissioner’s death. Mr. Robinson, born in Morehead City into a fishing family, had represented Carteret County’s Down East District 6 on the county board since November 1998. Prior to that, he served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1995-96. He is survived by his daughter, Staci Robinson Rinehardt, son, Mathew Robinson, and a grandson. “His voice for the commercial fishing industry was always based on his own understanding of the people who make up the industry and his unwavering pride in being part of that community,” said Ms. Amspacher. >click to read< 15:53

Legal battle brewing over where shrimp trawlers can fish in North Carolina

One conservation group in North Carolina is taking a stand, saying fish like Gray Trout and Croaker can’t survive if commercial shrimp trawlers are allowed to run their nets in the Pamlico Sound. “We’ve seen a decline in the past 40 years in our fin fish populations, most recently the southern flounder, which is probably the most favorite fish we have here in North Carolina,” said Joe Albea, a spokesperson for the NC Coastal Fisheries Reform Group. A representative from the Division of Marine Fisheries tells Nine on Your Side they have received the notice and are reviewing it. video, >click to read< 19:32

Always NC Fresh! NC Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Launches New Campaign, NCFA Weekly Update for May 22, 2020

Glenn Skinner, Executive Director of NC Fisheries Association (NCFA) and NCCFRF Committee Member, stated, “The Always NC Fresh public relations campaign could not have come at a better time as many of our fishermen have been hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19.” Skinner added, “Commercial fishing has been a part of North Carolina’s coastal communities and economy for hundreds of years, and it was time for us to reintroduce our fishermen to the citizens of this great state. We have a great story to tell and we’re proud to be a part of this new campaign.” “Commercial fishermen are good people who are a fundamental part of the economy and way of life in North Carolina’s coastal communities,” said Brent Fulcher, NCFA Chairman.  >click to read< 08:04

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 22, 2020>click to read< to read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here<

A group threatens a lawsuit over NC shrimping rules

A group pushing for changes to North Carolina’s commercial fishing rules sent formal notice last week that it plans to sue the state and one of the largest shrimping companies on the coast. The N.C. Coastal Fisheries Reform Group said that after “over a decade of unsuccessful attempts to engage in meaningful fisheries management reform dialog” with multiple governors, lawmakers and state officials it was filing a notice of claim under the Federal Clean Water Act. That starts a 60-day clock ahead of a lawsuit. The group said in a news release that, with another shrimping season approaching, time is of the essence. >click to read< 12:00

North Carolina: Local seafood markets still seeing good business amid Coronavirus

Fresh seafood seems to be in high demand, given grocery stores are running out of stock of other meats such as chicken and ground beef, It’s a win-win situation for the markets and for customers. “It means a lot,” said Jimmy Phillips, the owner of Clyde Phillips Seafood MKT in Swansboro. “People want some good seafood with all the scares of beef and pork being out. So they come in and buy fresh fish an shrimp.” Phillips said that business has increased after the COVID-19 outbreak. Jody Davis, the owner of Davis Seafood in Sneads Ferry agreed that the local seafood industry remains steady. “Things have been pretty good for us,” he said. >click to read< 10:12