The General Assembly returns to Raleigh this coming Wednesday, but at least two legislators will not be there due to positive Covid tests. Senator Bill Rabon, Republican from Brunswick County and Representative Brian Turner, Democrat from Buncombe County, both tested positive. It’s assumed their positive results came from a hunting trip in Hyde County which was attended by many legislators.

As of this writing, it’s assumed the legislative buildings will be open to visitors during the session. If so, I plan to be there to meet those newly elected.

The word is that the House has completed its committee makeup but other than the chairs the names have not been released.

As I’m sure all are aware Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as President and Vice-President this past Wednesday. We’ll try to keep abreast of the changes/appointments affecting fisheries as much as we can.

God bless,



NC Fisheries can now sign up on the Visit NC Farms App.  IT’S FREE!!


If you have a shellfish farm or other aquaculture farm, you can now sign up to be on the Visit NC Farms app.  Simply visit this site.





From Susan Jakes, Extension Assistant Professor at NC State and Associate State Program Leader in Community and Rural Development


ECU is doing a study of rural workers not engaged with medical care at risk for Covid. As part of this study, they need to provide health screenings for 1,000 self-employed or hourly workers in NC that do not have a primary care physician or have difficulty accessing traditional care. They can also provide flu and possibly Covid vaccinations. ECU will send teams out to work sites or events. These can be on-site any time of day at farms or any agricultural business with workers. These screenings take 10 minutes per worker. Identification is not required for screening and contact information is only needed if the participant wants follow-up and referrals.


This could be provided free, or if a business is able and willing, $25 per worker. 



Susan Jakes, Ph.D.

Associate State Program Leader, Community and Rural Development,

Extension Assistant Professor

North Carolina Cooperative Extension, CALS, NC State University

NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27695

Tel: (919) 515-9161



MAFMC and ASMFC to Hold Public Hearings for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment



The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) are seeking public comment on the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment. Comments may be submitted at any of five virtual public hearings to be held between February 17 and March 2, 2021 or via written comment until March 16, 2021.


The Council and Commission are developing this joint amendment to consider adjusting the allocations of catch or landings between the commercial and recreational fisheries for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The commercial and recreational allocations for all three species are currently based on historical proportions of landings (for summer flounder and black sea bass) or catch (for scup) from each sector. Recent changes in how recreational catch is estimated have resulted in a discrepancy between the current levels of estimated recreational harvest and the allocations of summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass to the recreational sector. Some changes have also been made to commercial catch data since the allocations were established. This amendment considers whether modifications to the allocations are needed in light of these and other changes in the fisheries. The amendment also considers options that would allow a portion of the allowable landings to be transferred between the commercial and recreational sectors each year, in either direction, based on the needs of each sector.


We encourage you to visit the Council’s Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment web page or the Commission’s Public Input web page, where you can read the Council’s Public Hearing Document and the Commission’s Draft Amendment and watch the public hearing presentation (to be posted by Friday, February 12, 2021). The Council’s Public Hearing Document is an abbreviated version of the amendment which summarizes proposed management options and impacts. The Commission’s Draft Amendment is a more comprehensive management document that will resemble the Commission’s final amendment once approved. Both documents contain identical options for public input, but each have been developed according to each management body’s differing requirements.


Written Comments


Written comments may be submitted through March 16, 2021 by any of the following methods:


  1. ONLINE at
  2. EMAIL to
  3. MAIL or FAX to Dr. Christopher Moore, Executive Director

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council

800 North State Street, Suite 201

Dover, DE 19901

FAX: 302.674.5399


Please include “Fluke/Scup/Sea Bass Allocation Amendment” in the subject line if using email or fax, or on the outside of the envelope if submitting written comments. All comments, regardless of submission method, will be compiled into a single document for review and consideration by both the Council and Commission. Please do not send separate comments to the Council and Commission.


Virtual Hearing Schedule


You are encouraged to attend any of the following five virtual public hearings and to provide oral or written comments at these hearings. While we encourage you to attend the hearing that is targeted toward your regional groupings of states or an individual state, anyone is welcome to participate in any hearing.


Wednesday, February 17, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Thursday, February 18, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.: New Jersey

Wednesday, February 24, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Delaware and Maryland

Monday, March 1, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Virginia and North Carolina

Tuesday, March 2, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Connecticut and New York


To register for a public hearing please click here: Public Hearing Registration and select the hearing(s) you plan to attend from the dropdown menu. Hearings will be held via GoToWebinar, which can be accessed using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. When connecting to audio, we strongly encourage participants to use computer voice over internet (VoIP) so you can ask questions and provide input. To attend the webinar in listen only mode, dial 1-877-309-2074 and enter access code 128-060-916. Those joining by phone only will be limited to listening to the presentation and will not be able to provide input. For technical assistance setting up and logging into GoToWebinar, contact Savannah Lewis at 703-842-0715.


If you are connected only by phone in listen only mode, you will not show up as a webinar attendee. In the event that there are no webinar attendees, the public hearing will be cancelled unless state staff request that the hearing content is presented.



We value your input. To be most effective, we request that your comment include specific details as to why you support or oppose a particular alternative. Specifically, please address the following:


Which proposed alternative(s) do you support, and which do you oppose?

Why do you support or oppose the alternative(s)?

Is there any additional information you think should be considered?



For additional information and updates, please visit: If you have any questions, please contact:


Kiley Dancy, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council,, 302-526-5257

Dustin Colson Leaning, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission,, 703-842-0714

MAFMC PRESS CONTACT: Mary Sabo, 302.518.1143


ASMFC PRESS CONTACT: Tina Berger, 703.842.0749