Conferees continued to work on the budget this week. Hopefully, that will finish this week and the budget sent to the Governor.
The big news this week is all the activity with H-483, LET THEM SPAWN.

On Tuesday, the bill was heard in the House Rules Committee and received a favorable report. It was then immediately put on the House calendar for the next day, where it passed 58 – 54. Rep. Keith Kidwell objected to the third reading so it was then on the Thursday calendar, where it passed 58 – 47.

You can see the chronology of the bill at the link below. If you want to see how they voted, just click on the appropriate link.

The bill now goes to the Senate where’s there’s been a lot of speculation about how the bill will fare there. We just have to be vigilant.

The bill is a bad bill. NCFA didn’t come out right away against the bill but did so only after we were told by our science advisors that it lacked scientific reasoning. At the start, DMF Director Steve Murphey had concerns about it even though at first DMF was not opposed to the bill. Eventually, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and DMF opposed the bill. If our science advisors had said it’s a great bill, NCFA would have taken a different approach.

Bottom line is we lost in committee and two readings on the House side after a tremendous amount of work. There’s been a lot of chatter in the fishing community about the bill now being law, that the CCA is behind it, etc. Y’all need to read this update a little closer as we’ve stayed on top of this bill and other legislative stuff rather closely.

The NC Wildlife Federation, (NCWF), wrote this bill, with the primary author being Louis Daniel, former Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries. The CCA just went along for the ride. The NCWF is not just an objective group concerned about hunters and wildlife but a very subjective organization that has morphed over the years to being the front runner in its anti-commercial fishing agenda. One of their sister groups, the Florida Wildlife Federation, was a huge reason why the Florida net ban was passed in 1994. Earlier this year one of the folks that worked hard on the Florida net ban was brought to the North Carolina chapter to do his “magic”, and he’s been working the halls of the General Assembly along with several others.

NCWF is the group that filed the Petition for Rulemaking back a few years ago that caused an overflow crowd in the New Bern Convention Center for a hearing about the petition which would have devastated our shrimpers. That petition cost the taxpayers many thousands of dollars in staff time and research but was eventually denied. However, NCWF’s legal advisors, the Southern Environmental Law Center, filed yet another Petition for Rulemaking against our shrimpers just last month!

More Democrats voted for the Let Them Spawn than Republicans, even though DEQ and DMF were opposed. Rep. Pricey Harrison, Democrat, made outstanding comments about why this bill was a bad bill. Rep. Deb Butler, Democrat, also voiced opposition. Yet more Democrats voted for it than against it.

Make no mistake. The North Carolina Wildlife Federation along with their legal advisors at the Southern Environmental Law Center are not an objective sporting organization but one with a not-so-hidden agenda of the decimation of commercial fishing.

There are a lot of people to thank for a tremendous amount of work, but the leader on it was Rep. Bobby Hanig. He fought long and he fought hard, but yet remained a gentleman in the process. He spoke his mind with leadership about the process, or lack thereof, and how it all played out. If you are involved in any with commercial fishing, or if you just appreciate a fair process, thank Bobby! Also, very vocal were Reps Michael Speciale, Keith Kidwell, Larry Pittman, Carson Smith, Frank Iler and Harry Warren.


Due to the length of the explanation of H-483 above, the other bills are not listed. There was no further action this week.

The two top vote getters from the Republican Primary will be in a runoff on July 9th. They are Greg Murphy from Greenville and Joan Perry from Kinston.
Candidate Allen Thomas, Democrat, attended the God and Country Christian Alliance meeting this past Monday as Republican Greg Murphy couldn’t make it. It was a good discussion but disappointing for me as nobody from commercial fishing attended. The meetings are open to anyone and an excellent opportunity to learn about the candidates, but I have yet to see any commercial fishing folks attend.

Allen Thomas Meet and Greet; Saturday, June 22nd;
Sanitary Fish Market in Morehead City; 8:00 – 10:00am

Also, Meet and Greet; Thursday, June 27th;
Swansboro; 6:00 – 8:00pm

Also, Meet and Greet; Saturday, June 29th;
Fat Fellas in Newport; 7:30 – 9:00am

Joan Perry
No events received but for info: aledet@platinumcorral.com 

Greg Murphy reception; Friday June 21st;
Wheatly House in Beaufort; 6:00 – 8:00pm.
Located at the corner of Front and Marsh St.
Contributions accepted but not required
Call Lindy Robinson: 252-241-2309

Also, Saturday, June 22nd;
O Marks Building in New Bern; 8:30 – 10:00.
Contributions accepted but not required.
Call Lindy at the number above.

Also Saturday, June 22nd:
Holiday Trav L Park in Emerald Isle; 11:00 – 12:30
Contributions accepted but not required
Call Lindy at the number above.

Also Saturday, June 22nd;
Willis Trucking in Jacksonville; 11;30 – 2:00
Contributions accepted but not required
Call Lindy at the number above.

Also Sunday, June 23rd;
Carolina Center in Elizabeth City; 6:00 – 8:00pm
Call Lynda Blount: 252-714-1164