From Our Executive Director-Glenn Skinner
The NCFA is still working to convince the State to reopen the commercial harvest of Spanish Mackerel with a 500 pound per day bycatch allowance.
So far, we have been disappointed with the State’s response but remain hopeful that Director Steve Murphey will issue the proclamation reopening harvest. NC has the authority to honor our request and will out be out of compliance by doing so. Spanish Mackerel are already being incidentally caught by NC fishermen targeting other species and due to the exceptionally high mortality rate for this species the majority, if not all are released dead.
Florida has taken similar action by allowing their fishermen to harvest 500 pound per day after the quota was met last year and has proven that it is within the states authority to do so.
We urge everyone to call or email Steve Murphey and Secretary Michael Regan and request that NC reopen the commercial harvest of Spanish Mackerel with a 500- pound bycatch allowance to stop the waste of this valuable resource.
Michael Regan– (919) 707-8600
Steve Murphey– (252) 808-8013 or (800) 682-2632
Again, nothing in the General Assembly this week concerning fish. As noted last week, the House did successfully vote to override the Governor’s veto of the budget, but the Senate has not yet taken action.
The House did take up H-655, NC HEALTH CARE FOR WORKING FAMILIES, in the Health Committee and gave the bill a favorable report. It’s now in the House Rules Committee.
The House and Senate both passed versions of redistricting upon the direction of the courts, so the next step now is for the courts to decide.
It appears that the General Assembly will take a few days off till the end of the month. No votes in the House before September 30th.
Also, of note, Senator Dan Bishop and Representative Greg Murphy both resigned from their seats in the General Assembly. Both were sworn in as Congressional Representatives this week. Both gentlemen are now organizing their offices, hiring staff and waiting for committee assignments.
One of the staff assignments is that Lindy Robinson of Marshallberg will be the District Director for Congressman Greg Murphy in the Third District! Congratulations Lindy!
Also, of note was the official announcement by NC House member Michael Speciale who has decided not to run for re-election in 2020. He and his wife and Legislative Assistant, Hazel, have been very supportive of commercial fishing families over the past few years and will be sorely missed. There are two individuals that I’m aware of seeking that seat next year: Eric Queen, Republican, who ran against Michael in last year’s primary, and Jim Kohr of Havelock, Republican, who is a pastor and currently a Havelock town commissioner. There will be others, I’m sure.