We actively participate in fisheries management, bringing experience that lends credibility to good science and refutes questionable science.

Put simply, fisheries management is very important. The intent of fisheries management is to determine what works for stakeholders within the confines of what scientific research has determined the resource will support. That’s why the North Carolina Fisheries Association engages fishermen, scientists, managers, legislators, and consumers in attempt to ensure the multiple management bodies consider first-hand knowledge based on decades of practical experience – while also considering the most recent, sound science available.

Additionally, we have been an industry leader in developing and supporting research to refine technology and methods, further ensuring responsible and sustainable use of marine resources. This requires a presence at every meeting for the five primary management bodies (the NC Marine Fisheries Commission, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the South and Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Councils, and the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division) as well as participation in the many related panels and committees that help to gather and present supporting research.

Is fisheries management important?

We support sound science that helps solve complex problems.

This is where NCFA plays a significant role. By actively participating in the management process, we bring experience to the table to support sound science or refute questionable science, and do so using accepted scientific methods to ensure this experience is not simply discounted as self-serving.

While NCFA is actively involved in solving a variety of complex scientific fishery issues, increasing sustainability and reducing interactions with non-target species are major areas of focus. For managers to consider efforts to reduce these interaction, accepted research must take place showing sound logic and conclusions. It must follow the scientific method which allows for repeatability so that it can be peer reviewed, and must show that our efforts have a statistically significant effect.

Two very notable examples of where this has been achieved is in our shrimp trawl industry. North Carolina shrimpers and net builders are continually working on ways to harvest shrimp while reducing impacts to non-target species, and the first example is that of the TED, or Turtle Excluder Device. This device has been instrumental in the resurgence of sea turtles, and allows shrimpers to minimize impacts to almost zero. The second item excludes finfish, and as we are coming to the close of a three-year study, we have achieved results that far exceed regulatory requirements. The important takeaway from this is that these continual efforts are driven by commercial fishermen who simply want to sustainably work for their living.


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