A Word from Our Executive Director – Glenn Skinner

At their May Business meeting, the Marine Fisheries Commission voted to send draft Amendment 2 (to the Southern Flounder FMP) as presented by the Division to the Advisory Committee and out for public comment with the addition of data pertaining to a partial moratorium.

The Division recommended using seasonal closures to reduce the recreational and commercial harvest of Southern Flounder by 62% in year one and 72% in year 2 of Amendment 2. 

The Joint AC meeting will be June 3 from noon-4:15PM. At the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City.  A news release will be going out in the next day or so on the Joint AC meeting.

Special MFC Meeting will be June 6 at the New Beaufort Hotel in Beaufort, NC. Time to be announced.

Anyone and everyone (Commercial and Recreational) that participates in the Southern Flounder Fishery is encouraged to attend both meetings!


Relatively quiet week from a fisheries perspective.

The bill synopsis below is exactly the same as last week.

Due to the holiday weekend, there will be very little legislative activity over the next several days.

One interesting tidbit: The House Wildlife Resources Committee met on Tuesday for almost two hours for a presentation about chronic wasting disease, which affects white tail deer and other such species. I thought it very curious that the committee had a long meeting to discuss a disease that’s currently not an issue in our state, but could not see the value in fully vetting the LET THEM SPAWN BILL a few weeks ago. The Committee did not take any public comment on that bill so no opposing viewpoint was given an opportunity, but yet they voted to give the bill a favorable report. That’s the meeting where DMF Director Steve Murphey was in the audience but was never called upon for his input, even after a request by a Committee member. The reason? Not enough time!

I’m writing this on Wednesday evening and glad I only have one more meeting on Thursday morning before taking a few days away from here.



H-169: the bill to make the Loggerhead Sea Turtle the state reptile passed the House and in Senate Rules. No action in the Senate this week.


Voted favorably 11-3 in Wildlife Resources on April 16; now in Rules.

Should be dead as it did not make it through the House before crossover. But this is the Easter season, so we’ll be vigilant. No action this week.



Voted favorably 6-4 in Wildlife Resources on April 16; now in Finance.

This is similar to a bill filed last year, but it died in committee. This bill would eliminate the RCGL or recreational commercial gear license, would only allow one standard commercial license per person with person including corporation; doubles the license fees. We understand it was discussed in Republican caucus but unsure of status. No action this week.



In Senate Rules. No action this week.

Would prohibit offshore drilling. Same as H-545 below.

S-554: MARINE FISHERIES REFORMS; by Senators Sanderson, Brown, Tillman and Steinburg

Passed on the Senate floor on May 7th, 46 to 1.

Now in the House Rules Committee. No action this week.

S-648: SUPPORT SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE; by Senators Sanderson, Rabon and Steinburg

Passed on the Senate floor on May 7th, 47 to 0.

Now in the House Rules Committee. No action this week.

H-545: PROTECT THE MILITARY/FISHERIES/TOURISM; by Rep. Harrison, Martin, Russell and others

No action this week: In the House Rules Committee. Same as S-517 above.

H-598: BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN AS STATE MARINE MAMMAL by Reps Hanig, Grange and others.

Passed the House and sent to the Senate.

In the Senate Rules Committee. No action in the Senate this week.

H-597: WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION AMENDS; sponsored by Adams, Henson, Wray, Yarborough and others.

Substantially raises license fees and makes changes in proclamation authority.

Passed the House Wildlife Resources Committee; Although given a favorable report by the Finance Committee on May 15th, there were concerns noted from some legislators. It is now in Rules and perhaps more discussions there.

H-809: SUPPORT SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE; McElraft, Yarborough, Shepard, Harrison and others.

Similar to S-648 mentioned above. In House Environment Committee.

Since S-648 passed the Senate and now in the House, no action will be taken on this bill.


Similar in name to S-554 and H-860 but NOT the same in content!

In House Rules Committee. No action this week.

NCFA opposes H-810.

H-860: MARINE FISHERIES REFORMS: Cleveland, McElraft, Butler

Similar to S-554.

In House Rules Committee.

Since S-554 passed the Senate and now in House, no action will be taken on this bill.


Provides legislative oversight of marine fisheries issues by the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources.

Passed the House and sent to the Senate.

In Senate Rules. No 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.

Joan Perry attended last Monday’s meeting of the God and Country Christian Alliance in New Bern.  She spoke for a while and then answered questions for about 45 minutes.

Greg Murphy will be at the group’s June 17th meeting using the same format. The meeting is open for all so a good opportunity to meet the candidate and see where he stands on the issues. The meeting begins at 7:00pm at Moore’s Old Thyme BBQ on Hwy 17 South in New Bern. No charge to attend unless you eat. Those who want to eat first are encouraged to arrive between 6:00 and 6:30.

The two candidates will participate in a debate in early July in Greenville. More details as we get them.