Keeping Our Eye on the Issues


Fisheries meetings and webinars have been a bit slow the last month or so but everything is starting to get going again.


The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) met last week in Arlington, Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) meets this week (Tuesday Feb. 7-Thursday Feb. 9) right down the road in Washington, D.C.


And although there are few (if any) hot topic agenda items pertaining to our fishermen at these two meetings it is important that we keep our eye on the ball even when we are not up to bat.


Many of these meetings in fact have only one and sometimes no issues directly related to your fisheries or even to any of NC’s fisheries, but the fact remains that decisions made at these meetings many times set precedent for future decisions that may affect fisheries important to you and/or other important fisheries in our state. At the very least, some of these decisions and the rational leading up to these choices can also be used for or against future management as well. 


This is why it is important to stay well versed in all of our fisheries management meetings. The science, rationale, and opinions of our commissions and councils are ever evolving. As members come and go on these management boards, priorities and perspectives of our fisheries change as well. As new science is made available allocations can and are shifting. History, knowledge, and relationships are the key to successfully fighting for our fisheries when it is our turn at the plate. 


And it is too easy not to listen in on some of these meetings! 


All of these meetings are available online and many have a call-in option. And don’t worry about having to stay quiet all day, the meeting automatically mutes your end of the connection when you call in or log on. If you want to speak and give comment during the allotted time, the meeting organizer will unmute you. And with Bluetooth you can always just listen while you fish!


We at NCFA will do our best to keep everyone updated about upcoming meetings and webinars. We will also do our best to listen in on every meeting and comment when necessary. 


Fisheries management may slow down some during and after the holiday season but it never stops. And I will tell you from experience, the longer you wait to jump on the train the harder it is to figure out where it is going. 


Don’t wait until your fisheries is stuck on the track and expect the process to stop just for you. Because it won’t, and the fisheries management train might only leave you with a busted fishery. The waters might be calm for you right now but the battle is never far away. 


Stay vigilant and stay on top of the issues before they get on top of you! 


As always, reach out, ask questions, and let us help.



Thomas Newman 

Fisheries Liaison



Former N.C. Senator Jerry Tillman passed away recently at the age of 82. He was a very good friend of our state’s commercial fishing families and will be sorely missed.

NCFA’s Members, Board and Staff offer our prayers and most sincere condolences to his family.