MEETINGS WITH FISHERMEN!
Meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 17th in Swan Quarter!
As noted last week, NCFA met with fishermen in Brunswick County, Wanchese and Hatteras in Dare County, and Pamlico County. This week we met with fishermen in Elizabeth City.
We have scheduled a meeting for next week in Swan Quarter, details listed below. We may still schedule meetings in the Sneads Ferry and/or Edenton areas, so stay tuned!
The purpose is for fishermen and supporters to discuss very important issues for the commercial fishing community and the upcoming Seafood Lobby Day in Raleigh. Scheduled for May 23rd, Seafood Lobby Day is less than 2 weeks!
THESE ARE VERY IMPORTANT MEETINGS FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN A FUTURE FOR COMMERCIAL FISHING FAMILIES and ASSURING ACCESS TO FRESH NORTH CAROLINA SEAFOOD!!!
Thursday, May 17th 5:00 to 7:00pm
Hyde County Courthouse
30 Oyster Creek Rd
Swan Quarter, NC 27885
NEED TRANSPORTATION TO RALEIGH FOR SEAFOOD LOBBY DAY?
If you wish to attend Seafood Lobby Day in Raleigh on May 23rd but would like to car pool or need transportation, please call Aundrea at the NCFA office so those arrangements can be coordinated! We can help, but can’t do it unless you call so we can make those arrangements in advance!
Please call Aundrea or Nikki at the NCFA office: 252-726-6232 or Aundrea’s cell: 252-503-8302.
CCFA SAYS THANKS FOR A VERY SUCCESSFUL FISH FRY!!!
“Carteret County Fisherman’s Association would like to thank everyone that came out to help make our Annual Fish Fry a huge success!”
NEED A ROOM FOR SEAFOOD LOBBY DAY?
Room block has expired, but rooms are still available!
The NCFA room block at the Red Roof Plus on South Saunders Street expired on Sunday, but there are still rooms available if you wish to stay overnight, but you need to call ASAP! To reserve, call 1-800-733-7663.
The day begins with a rally on the south side of the Capitol from 9:00am till 1:00pm on Wednesday, May 23rd.
This will be an especially important time for you to make plans for going to Raleigh to talk to legislators and demonstrate across from the Governor’s Mansion during the day and attend a legislative seafood reception in the evening.
Last year was the first year for Seafood Lobby Day, which we hope to make an annual event in conjunction with the Legislative Seafood Reception. The Reception was started several years ago by NC Watermen United (NCWU) and NCFA was invited a few years ago to participate. NCFA had the first Seafood Lobby Day last year, primarily to address H-867 which was basically a rewrite of the Fisheries Reform Act without any commercial fishing input.
CCA NC SUBMITS WISH LISH TO GOVERNOR COOPER
The Executive Summary alone is over 13 pages, but we’ll list a few items on it so you can see why there is a huge push for YOU to be in Raleigh for Seafood Lobby Day on May 23rd!
· * CCA requests the Governor issue an Executive Order on striped bass and direct the Fisheries Director use proclamation authority to “…reduce commercial mortality within the CSMA…”
· *CCA requests the Governor issue an Executive Order and direct the Fisheries Director use proclamation authority to overturn or modify the Southern flounder settlement agreement. (The SFSA came about as a result of NCFA’s successful lawsuit on southern flounder, so they’re asking the Governor to intervene with the assistance of the Attorney General’s Office.)
· *CCA NC requests the Governor direct the Fisheries Director to suspend the statewide gillnet ITP based on the noncompliance of commercial fishermen with the terms of the permit.
· *CCA requests the Governor direct the DMF to abandon its current position on shrimp trawl bycatch and either support the NC Wildlife Federation’s shrimp petition for rulemaking before the MFC or to recommend the MFC do some other things and the Fisheries Director use his proclamation authority to restrict shrimp trawling until the MFC can act by permanent rule to restrict shrimp trawling.
· *CCA NC requests that the Governor support the Conservation Based Coastal Fisheries Management Act, (H-867), or substantially similar legislation by working with NC Sound Economy to achieve such reform and to direct DMF through Executive Order or other direct communication to embrace the conservation mandate of H-867.
· *Until such time as H-867 or comparable legislation is enacted, CCA NC requests that the Governor exercise his parens patriae authority through Executive Order, declaring that is in the public interest, etc., etc.
· *CCA NC requests that the Governor monitor the commercial fishing license criteria issue and direct DEQ to work with the MFC and legislators to “get a better handle on” the commercial license issue as it relates to un or under-reported commercial harvest, latent commercial fishing licenses and the sale and/or transfer of commercial licenses.
· *CCA NC requests that the Governor continue to appoint only objective, resource oriented (and therefore, public interest oriented) members to the MFC and that the Governor’s legislative representatives be wary of attempts in the 2018 legislative session to change the make-up, appointment qualifications and authority of the MFC, and work with legislative allies to defeat such changes.
· *CCA NC requests the Governor to direct DMF to pursue an increased level of cooperation with federal enforcement officers. CCA NC supports acquiring joint enforcement authority, (JEA).
· *CCA NC requests that, after hearing, the Governor replace Rep. Bob Steinburg as the legislative member of the ASMFC.
· *Overall, North Carolina fish stocks are in very poor shape with respect to traditional stock abundances and long-term sustainable harvest, and thus, in terms of economic viability. That condition is due in no small part to a traditional, longstanding pro-commercial harvest bias within DMF. CCA NC requests that the Governor instruct DMF Director Murphey to implement remedial actions on the commercial bias issue by fairly assessing existing bias within DMF staff, and working with the NC Sound Economy coalition to enact H-867 or similar legislation.
MFC TO MEET IN NEW BERN Meeting May 16 & 17
From the Division:
The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission will meet May 16-17 at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in New Bern.
The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. May16 and 8:30 a.m. May 17.
A public comment period will be held at 6 p.m. May 16. Members of the public may speak to the commission on any fisheries-related topic. The chairman will allow each speaker to comment for up to three minutes.
The deadline for submitting written comments to the commission, including email, through the Marine Fisheries Commission Office, is May 11. Those who wish to forego this process and give handouts to the commission during the public comment period should bring at least 12 copies of the handout.
The commission is scheduled to discuss and possibly vote on new gear requirements in the shrimp trawl fishery. A three- year study between the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, NOAA Fisheries, N.C Sea Grant and the commercial shrimp trawl industry identified four new gear configurations that reduce finfish bycatch by at least 40 percent.
Other agenda items include a presentation on the N.C. Blue Crab Stock Assessment; a presentation on potential solutions to address shellfish lease conflicts. The commission is also scheduled to vote on nominations for Region 4 Strategic Habitat Areas for inclusion in the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan.
The public may listen to the meeting on the Internet. Up to 200 participants may listen to audio and view presentations in real-time on a first-come, first-served basis. Directions for participating in the webcast, including information on system requirements and testing, can be found here. Following the meeting, an audio recording will be posted online.
Link for briefing book can be found by clicking here.
Click here for pdf of MFC agenda.
For more information, contact Nancy Fish in the Marine Fisheries Commission office at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.
NO EVENTS TO REPORT, but the primary was held on Tuesday. We’ll list the coastal results next week, but in the meantime if anyone has a question you can respond to this email or call Jerry: 252-361-3015.
May 14; 6:00pm; ASMFC public hearing on eel amendment; DEQ Regional Office; Washington, NC
May 16 – 17; MFC meeting; New Bern, NC
May 17; 5:00 – 7:00; NCFA meeting with fishermen; Hyde County Courthouse; Swan Quarter, NC
May 23; ALL DAY; Seafood Lobby Day in Raleigh