Tag Archives: North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission

Op-ed: E-mails continue a troubling practice on fisheries panel

With a critical vote pending on a petition to limit shrimp trawling in state waters, a member of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission made no secret of his position in an e-mail to a concerned chef from Charlotte. The e-mail was among several by Commissioner Chuck Laughridge to people who had submitted written comments on the petition, which supporters say is aimed at protecting fish species that are discarded as by-catch after they are hauled in by shrimp nets. Laughridge wrote the e-mails despite warnings from the commission’s lawyer about conducting business outside of public meetings and expressing opinions on pending issues before the fisheries panel has fully debated and voted on them. We at Outer Banks Catch are troubled by these continuing private communications. The commission is already under the cloud of a 2016 audit that cited several potential violations of open meetings laws in e-mail communications among its members. With the potentially devastating impact of limits to shrimp trawling on commercial watermen and consumers up and down the East Coast, the commission more than ever must be above-board. Continue reading the Op-ed here 22:38

Sandy Semans Ross – My view: N.C. Wildlife Federation petition is short on science and facts

The Outer Banks Catch is a nonprofit focused on providing fact-based education to consumers about the commercial fishing industry and communities, and the habitat and water quality needed to maintain a robust fishery. With that mission comes a responsibility to correct erroneous statements whether made in the press or, such as in this case, in petitions for rule-making before the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission. The petition filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF) is based on the work of Jack Travelstead, an employee of the Coastal Conservation Association, and former Division of Marine Fisheries director, Louis Daniel, now contracted with NCWF.  The document, amendment and submitted public comments contain few statements that Outer Banks Catch could provide to the public and stand behind their legitimacy. It requests designating all inland waters and three miles out into the ocean as a huge special secondary nursery area, thus prohibiting almost all shrimp trawling. Read the op-ed here 09:19

North Carolina Fisheries Association – Update on yesterday’s North Carolina shrimp petition meeting!

ALL FIVE ADVISORY PANELS VOTE TO DENY THE SHRIMP PETITION! Thanks to all fishermen, their families, consumers and other supporters of North Carolina’s commercial fishing communities for filling the Convention Center yesterday in New Bern! Special kudos to the owners, captains and crews of the many fishing boats that were docked nearby at Union Point! It was a sight! At 11:00, we had a special gathering upstairs at the Convention Center for a meeting and Prayer Service, to ask the Lord’s guidance for calm and protection for our state’s fishermen.
 Five advisory panels to the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission met yesterday at the Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern to hear comments on a Petition for Rulemaking by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation that would severely restrict shrimp trawling in our state. Read the update here 09:55

Opponents line up in showdown over limits to shrimp trawling

Hyde County Commissioners, along with local stakeholders and seafood advocates, have issued strong opposition to proposed rules that would result in major changes to the state’s commercial trawling industry. They say the restrictions could ultimately end the state’s access shrimp.,, Other rule changes outlined in the 99-page NCWF petition are: Limiting shrimp trawling to three days a week; limiting trawling to daytime only; limiting the total head rope (the span of the nets) to 90 feet; establishing 45-minute tow times; define type of gear and how it can be used in special secondary nursery areas;and opening the season based on a 60 shrimp per pound. Last week, Hyde County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution opposing the rules. Read the story here 15:16

North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission to decide shrimp trawling regulations

The New Year will begin with a decision that could impact the livelihood of area commercial fishermen. The five advisory committees to the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission will meet jointly on Jan. 17 in New Bern to receive public comment on a petition for rulemaking that would, if adopted, impact shrimp trawl fishing in most North Carolina waters. The petition asks the commission to designate all coastal fishing waters not already designated as nursery areas as special secondary nursery areas, including the ocean out to three miles. It also calls for establishing clear criteria for the opening of shrimp season and defining the type of gear and how and when gear may be used in special secondary nursery areas (SSNAs) during shrimp season. The petition is being opposed by the North Carolina Fisheries Association,,, Read the rest here 11:42

6 things to expect at the Marine Fisheries Commission meeting in Wrightsville Beach

NCDMF_trnsprntNorth Carolina’s Marine Fisheries Commission will host its first meeting of 2016 in Wrightsville Beach this week. The commission, responsible for overseeing fisheries management issues throughout the state, will meet for three days at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Here are a few of the topics commissioners will tackle between today and Friday: Flounder pound nets: The most contentious issue, Coastal protection, Oyster and clam rules, Eel farming, Shellfish licenses, Council appointments. Read the rest here 07:57

Trawl Modifications to keep fish out of N.C. shrimp nets prove surprisingly effective

Shrimpers and biologists surprised the experts last summer by using modified trawl nets that drastically reduced the amount of popular fish caught and discarded. The nets were fitted with a variety of devices beyond what is already required, including “spooker cones” that scare away fish before they enter the net, additional escape openings called fisheyes, and tailbags with larger mesh. The tailbag is where the catch collects at the end of the net. Biologists and fishermen were amazed how effective the test devices were, said with the Division of Marine Fisheries. Read the article here 16:49

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

North Carolina Fishermen meet to determine disbursement procedures

NCDMF_trnsprntWork will begin today to establish procedures for authorizing the disbursement of money collected through a new state fund created to meet requirements for the protection of sea turtles while also supporting projects that enhance the state’s commercial fishing industry. The funding committee of the North Carolina Commercial Fishing Resource Fund and a corresponding committee of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission will hold their first meeting today at 2 p.m. at the division headquarters, 3441 Arendell St. in Morehead City.  of the North Carolina Fisheries Association said the meeting will be organizational as work begins to establish a Memorandum of Understanding. Read the article here 10:03

North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission places emergency limits on Southern Flounder

After five hours of motions, amendments and haggling over details, the approved an emergency measure Thursday that will close down most fishing for southern flounder in the state’s sounds after Oct. 16. The restrictions, which are aimed at allowing larger numbers of fish to migrate into the ocean to reach spawning age, were deemed necessary by the Division of Marine Fisheries even though the usefulness of a 2014 stock assessment was challenged by a peer review. Here is what the commission settled on: Read the article here 15:31

It’s Showtime! Controversial flounder decision on MFC agenda

A controversial issue over the future of flounder-southern is back on the agenda for this week’s meeting of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission. After postponing action in August, the commission is scheduled to approve management measures for Supplement A to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Amendment 1. The meeting is set for Nov. 18-20 at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, with a public comment period Wednesday night and the business meeting on Thursday and Friday. Read the rest here 09:24

Controversial proposal for managing the southern flounder fishery is on hold

A controversial proposal for managing the southern flounder fishery is on hold after apparent legislative concern over the process being used to potentially implement changes to the existing plan. The item was pulled from the agenda of last week’s meeting of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission after the commission received a letter from Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Donald Van der Vaart in reference to a letter he had received from several legislators asking that he rescind the commission’s authority to adopt a supplement to the state’s Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. Read the rest here 08:00

Group studying ways to keep more fish out of shrimp nets

A meeting being held this week in New Bern will kick off an effort to study new methods and potential gear for reducing the bycatch of finfish in shrimp trawls. A work group established by the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, a day-long workshop that will include presentations by experts from North Carolina and other coastal states on the latest technology in and experiences. Read the rest here 19:40

Fishermen speaking up against proposed logbooks by NC Marine Fisheries

Captains and fishermen in southeastern North Carolina, especially, are upset about the changes that the state is hoping to make. The new  ask for-hire license holders to fill out detailed information on each trip they take, including every fish they touch – catch or release, how many hooks were in the water, how long and what time the trip was, and even how many bait fish they catch in their cast nets. Read the rest here 16:37

Sad news – North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission Chairman Paul Rose of Moyock dies suddenly

Paul RosePaul Rose, the chairman of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission, died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack. The Moyock resident was a commercial crabber, pound netter and fish dealer who ran Paul Rose seafood. Read the rest here 11:59

N.C. gill net limits hurt watermen’s livelihoods

gill nets john norrisJohn Norris stiffly eased down into his flat-bottom boat using a small step ladder and a helping hand from his fishing partner and wife, Brenda. If he tilts too far, he falls over. Norris, a 68-year-old commercial waterman, is being treated for cancer. He’s had operations on both knees and shoulders, and he carries vertical and horizontal scars more than 12 inches long crisscrossing his torso. Read more here 09:57

North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission to decide on nursery status for Pamlico

A decades-long battle between user groups of North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound reaches another level Thursday, when the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission considers secondary nursery status for the sound. The Commission meeting starts at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Double Tree by Hilton in Raleigh. Public comment starts at 9:15 a.m., with a discussion and vote on the issue slated to start at 11:15 a.m. [email protected] 09:06

SIGN THIS PETITION! North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission: Save local seafood! No permanent secondary nursery areas in NC!

To: W. Robert Bizzell, Chairman, NC Marine Fisheries Commission

Save local seafood! Please do not designate all inland waters of North Carolina as secondary nursery areas. North Carolina would loose a considerable amount of income to foreign competition, as well as access to this bountiful resource and a historic profession among generations of coastal citizens.

Sincerely, [Your name]    Link to petition 08:46

No more shrimp from Pamlico Sound?- North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission to Consider Trawl Ban – Petition

A possible  reclassification of most internal waters of North Carolina will be the subject of a special meeting of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries later this month. This reclassification into “Permanent Secondary Nursery Areas” would be one of the biggest regulatory blows to the state’s commercial fishing industry – a complete ban on trawling in North Carolina waters. [email protected]

Petition by Megan Spencer Ocracoke,  North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission: Save local seafood! No permanent secondary nursery areas in NC!