WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION
NCFA attended a Wildlife Resources Commission meeting on March 21st. The only item on their agenda was to consider adopting a closure for striped bass to coincide with the proclamation by the Division of Marine Fisheries as a result of the “emergency meeting” by the MFC. The WRC by a unanimous vote, adopted a year-round recreational striped bass season closure that goes into effect at 12:01am on Friday, March 29th, in all waters of the Central Southern Management Area where a closure does not already exist.
Afterwards, the Wildlife Resources Commission and Marine Fisheries Commission held a joint meeting to further discuss the revision of the jurisdictional lines. Although the WRC had a prepared motion, MFC Chairman Rob Bizzelle suggested that it was premature to make the decision at this meeting and made a motion to table, which the group decided to do.
Further discussions will take place at their next meeting in New Bern on May 1st.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY UPDATE
The NCFA has been anticipating the release of two bills that have not yet been introduced. One for shellfish and the other regarding changes in fisheries management process. Those bills should be introduced next week.
There have been two fisheries related bills introduced this week. These bills were drafted with the assistance of the Wildlife Federation and CCA.
H-483: LET THEM SPAWN Sponsored by: Yarborough, Saine, Wray, B. Turner Co-sponsors: Autry, Clark, Fraley, Hunter, McGrady, Riddell, Ross Referred to the Wildlife Resources Committee; if favorable to the Environment Committee; if favorable to the Rules Committee.
H-486 COMMERCIAL FISHING LICENSE REFORMS Sponsored by Yarborough, Dixon, Cunningham & Wray Co-sponsors Autry, Fraley Ross. Referred to the Wildlife Resources Committee; if favorable to Finance Committee; if favorable to Appropriations for Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources Committee; if favorable to full Appropriations Committee; if favorable to the Rules Committee.
You can see the wording of the bills by clicking on the links above. We will provide details about both bills next week.
H-169, The bill to make the Loggerhead Sea Turtle the state reptile is still in the House Environment Committee.
THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SPECIAL ELECTION
Recently we listed the entire list of candidates and encouraged folks that are in the Third District to attend candidate forums or individual candidate meet and greet or fund raisers to meet them and learn more.
NCFA is sending some questions to all candidates about commercial fishing. We will share their responses in the coming weeks.
Candidate Greg Murphy: Craven County Meet & Greet; upstairs at Capt’n Ratty’s in New Bern; Saturday, March 30th; 2-4pm.
Also Greene County Meet & Greet; 102 N. Greene St. in Snow Hill; Sunday, March 31st, 4-6pm.
CANDIDATE FORUM IN NEW BERN
On April 15th, the following have agreed to speak to the God and Country Christian Alliance: Phil Law, Michelle Nix, Michael Speciale, Shannon Bray, Gary Ceres and possibly Graham Boyd. I expect others will be added to that list as well.
If you know of any events for the Third District candidates, please let us know. The primary is April 30th.