Maintaining High Standards
North Carolina’s commercial fishermen are a hard-working bunch. They take pride in our state’s fishing heritage and understand its importance to coastal communities. That’s why they challenge themselves to be the best fishermen around.
Proper regulation is a part of these high standards, but overregulation stymies growth and creates unnecessary barriers to success. Commercial fishing is the seventh-most regulated industry in the United States and unfortunately, the regulations are constantly changing. While some regulations, such as size limits and trip limits, are very similar to recreational fishing regulations, others are extremely costly and intrusive to commercial fishermen.
In North Carolina, we have one of the nation’s most rigorous legal and regulatory management processes. There is even a unique fisheries resource management tool called “proclamation authority,” where restrictions can change with only 48-hour notice. This forces fishermen and seafood dealers to immediately adjust their business plans with very little notice. Imagine trying to run a small business like this: what was legal yesterday may have become illegal today.
NCFA and our state’s commercial fishermen strongly believe in maintaining high standards, but fair regulation is key to the success of many small businesses along our coast.