Tag Archives: North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission

Unanimous N.C. Appeals Court Rules State Can Be Sued for Failing to Protect Fishing Rights

The decision could eventually lead to new restrictions on commercial fishing. The Appeals Court agreed to affirm a trial judge’s ruling in the case, Coastal Conservation Association v. State of N.C. The trial court had rejected the state’s attempt to have the case thrown out because of sovereign immunity. “Plaintiffs alleged the State breached this constitutional duty by ‘mismanaging North Carolina’s coastal fisheries resources.’ Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged the State has mismanaged the fisheries by ‘permitting, sanctioning, and even protecting two methods of harvesting coastal finfish and shrimp in State public waters’ — shrimp trawling and ‘unattended’ gillnetting,,, >click to read< 12:49

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for June 6, 2022

The MFC voted on May 26th to continue with the gill net closure in the Neuse and Pamlico rivers and directed DMF to study the impacts of removing the gill nets as their preferred management option. But this time the reason for continuing the gill net closure was different. At the meeting, Commissioner Tom Roller said; “In saying that this is an allocation fight, you are right. So, when NCFA comes here and says there is no scientific evidence for removing gill nets, what they are saying is I want my allocation. Yeah, that’s exactly what it is. So, it’s an allocation by the retention of gill nets. Cause a dead fish is a dead fish, right? A dead fish is a dead fish and you have to ask what is the greater value to the economy? And in most cases, and many cases, not all cases, it’s recreational.” I’m confused. . >click to read<. To read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 16:16

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for May 30, 2022

Finally! An issue both the CCA and NCFA agree on. Do you believe in miracles? If not, you should. On May 25, at the meeting of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission, David Sneed, Executive Director of the CCA NC, made the following statement during the public comment period. “On Southern Flounder, the recent recreational overages were the result of derby fishing brought about by insufficient management action from Amendment 2. Harvest and overage estimates that are provided by MRIP were never intended to be used to manage a fishery through a quota,,, Sound familiar? If you’re one of our regular readers it should. . >click to read<. To read all the updates >click here<, for older updates listed as NCFA >click here< 11:51

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for March 21, 2022

Last week, on March 15,16, and 17th, the Northern Regional, Southern Regional, and Finfish Advisory Committees met to make recommendations, for the Marine Fisheries Commission to consider, on Amendment 2 to the Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan! There was very little public comment, about a half dozen each night, with the NCFA being the only fisheries group offering comments. We focused on a single issue, allowing the use of gillnets above the ferry lines in the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers, which the MFC chose to remove from the draft Amendment before allowing public or AC input. >click to read the update< 13:24

NCFC votes down controversial shrimp FMP recommendations, hand-pick preferred measures

The amendment, particularly recommended closures, has faced considerable opposition, including from commercial shrimpers, consumers and government officials. The DMF recommended to the MFC a suite of management measures that included closing 315,206 acres of coastal waters to shrimp trawling to reduce bycatch. Combined with existing areas closed to trawling, the division recommendations would have closed 62.1% of the state’s estuarine waters to such activity. After lengthy deliberation, about 55 speakers during two public comment periods and a motion on the DMF recommendations failing 4-5, the commission selected it’s preferred management measures,,, >click to read< 21:49

Shrimpers, citizens voice concerns at meeting with N.C. Marine Fisheries officials

People from across Eastern North Carolina who want shrimp trawling to remain open showed up in Emerald Isle Wednesday night for a public hearing. Shrimpers, fishermen, business owners and customers were out in full force to plead with the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission. “I feel like this is not a shrimp fishery management plan, neither is it a bycatch management plan. I feel like this is a commercial fisherman elimination plan,” said Ted Smith. “If you proceed with what you’re doing, you will not only affect the fisheries, you will affect the schools, you will affect the hospitals, you will affect the crime rate,” said one New Bern woman. >Video, click to read< 12:58

Lingering N.C. Fisheries Association issues persist into 2019

Captain George’s was the venue for the recent 2019 North Carolina Fisheries Association’s Annual Meeting, which addressed issues that included conflicts with special interest groups, shrimp trawl bans and aquaculture in the sounds. The NCFA is the primary organization promoting, providing education and, in recent years, defending North Carolina’s commercial fishing industry. NCFA board presided over an extensive agenda, discussing,,, >click to read<16:17

N.C. Fisheries bills may not get heard before legislature adjourns

State legislators are getting a crash course in commercial fisheries due to the variety of fishing issues addressed in a pair of bills filed in the short session. But time is running out for those proposals to be heard in the N.C. General Assembly, as lawmakers plan to wrap up their work as soon as the end of this week. House Bill 1049, sponsored by Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, seeks to replace two at-large seats on the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission.,,, House Bill 1063, sponsored by Rep. Larry Yarborough, R-Granville, Rep. Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin and Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover, seeks to restructure the commercial fishing license program and in doing so would take a huge step toward limited entry. >click to read<15:30

North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission approves new rules for fishing licenses – Critics angered by vote

By a 5-4 vote on Feb. 15, the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) redefined the qualifications for a commercial fishing license with rules that did not include specific fishing income requirements, but did contain provisions that angered some critics. Before the two-day MFC meeting in Wrightsville Beach on Feb. 14 and 15, much of the criticism was focused on a proposal that to qualify as a “commercial fisherman,” an applicant must have 50% of all earned income from fishing and have three dozen trip tickets per year. >click to read< 12:43

A key vote looms on commercial fishing in North Carolina

A high stakes meeting of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC), set to begin today, includes a proposal that advocates say could devastate the state’s commercial fishing industry by redefining the requirements for a license.  “This can change the whole ball game,” said Dare Commissioner Steve House, who is planning to attend the meeting and speak out against the proposal. “They’re working to obliterate an industry and a whole way of life. And it’s not just a battle anymore — it’s all-out war. And I’m ready to fight it.”  >click to read< 08:30

N.C. officials to write definition of old profession – commercial fishing

North Carolina officials plan to write the definition of one of the state’s longest-standing professions – commercial fishing. The definition seems simple – a licensed person who sells seafood for money. But some anglers could be getting a commercial license just to allow them to catch more fish than they are supposed to, said Sam Corbett, chairman of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission. “They’re going around the bag limits,” Corbett said. “It’s such a crazy issue.” click here to read the story 14:28

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. more@pilotonline 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. continued@okracokecurrent

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