Weekly Update: March 15, 2019


On Wednesday, March 13, 2019 the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission (NC MFC) held an “Emergency” Meeting in Kinston, NC to discuss directing (forcing) the DMF Director, Steve Murphey to issue a proclamation restricting the use of gill nets in the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.

The Commission made a similar request at their February, 2019 business meeting and after reviewing that request Director Murphey chose NOT to issue the proclamation. The Directors refusal prompted five Commission members, including the Chairman, Rob Bizzell to write letters to the Chairman (himself) requesting an emergency meeting.

During that meeting the Commission approved by a vote of 5 to 4, a motion to direct the Director to issue a proclamation prohibiting the use of all gill nets above the Cherry Branch-Minnesot Branch Ferry lines in the Neuse River and above the Aurora-Bay View ferry line in the Pamlico River.

Once issued, this proclamation will remain in place until the Striped Bass Amendment for the Central Southern Management Area is completed. (Approximately 2 years)

The NCFA believes the Commission acted in bad faith showing total disregard for the facts and science that was presented to them and we are currently exploring options for challenging their actions.


H-169, The Bill to make the Loggerhead Sea Turtle the state reptile, received a favorable report Wednesday in the House State and Local Government Committee. The Bill now goes to the House Environment Committee.

It was told to me privately that some legislators are receiving messages from certain familiar anti commercial folks that they should ban gillnets if they want to protect turtles. I informed those legislators that they need to ask those folks if they know the data for turtle interactions with hook and line. The numbers are surprising. However, this bill has nothing to do with anything other than naming the Loggerhead sea turtle as the official State reptile.

SHELLFISH BILL: NCFA is currently reviewing the draft Shellfish Bill.


The primary for this election will be held on April 30. We encourage you to attend events where you can learn about the candidates and educate them about the issues.

Monday, March 18, several candidates will be speaking at the God and Country Christian Alliance in New Bern at 7:00pm at Moore’s BBQ on Hwy 17 in New Bern. The following have indicated they will be there: Jeff Moore, Phil Shepard, Dana Outlaw, Greg Murphy, Shannon Bray, Chimer Clark and Francis DeLuca. More may be added.

On April 15, the following have agreed to speak to the God and Country Christian Alliance: Phil Law, Michelle Nix, Michael Speciale and Gary Ceres. I expect others will be added to that list as well.

The Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association is holding a candidates’ forum on Friday, March 22, Craven Community College in New Bern, Orringer Auditorium, 6:00pm.

Finally, Representative Keith Kidwell from Beaufort County is having an event for Third District candidate Michael Speciale on March 22, in Chocowinity from 5:00 – 7:00pm.

We have sent a note to ALL candidates that we have contact info on to let us know of any events they are having so we can let you know. The Speciale event is the only response we have had so far.

Candidate List
Allen Thomas, Winterville
Ernest T. Reeves, Greenville
Dana E. Outlaw, New Bern
Ike Johnson, Jacksonville
Gregory Humphrey, Beulaville
Richard Bew, Newport

Michael Speciale, New Bern
Phil Shepard, Jacksonville
Eric Rouse, Kinston
Joan Perry, Kinston
Mike Payment, Grandy
Michele Nix, Kinston
Greg Murphy, Greenville
Jeff Moore, Raleigh
Phil Law, Jacksonville
Francis X. De Luca, Cary
Don Cox, Belhaven
Chimer Davis Clark, Jr., Morehead City
Gary Ceres, Greenville
Celeste Cairns, Emerald Isle
Graham Boyd, Wake Forest
Paul Beaumont, Shawboro
Kevin Baiko, Moyock

Greg Holt, New Bern

Tim Harris, New Bern
Shannon W. Bray, Apex

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