Marine Fisheries Commission amends sector allocations for southern flounder plan amendment
MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted today to amend the previously adopted sector allocations for Amendment 3 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan to gradually equalize allocations between the commercial and recreational fisheries.
The commission voted to change the allocation to 70% commercial and 30% recreational in 2021 and 2022, 60% commercial and 40% recreational in 2023, and 50% commercial and 50% recreational in 2024.
In February, the commission had selected sector harvest allocations of 70% commercial and 30% recreational for the duration of Amendment 3. That allocation was similar to the harvest landed by each sector in 2017, the terminal year of the stock assessment on which draft management measures in Amendment 3 are based.
Chairman Rob Bizzell called today’s meeting to revisit this issue after the commission received a large amount of public comment on the February decision.
The allocation decision is needed to facilitate commercial and recreational quotas as proposed in draft Amendment 3. The change in allocation may impact the timeline for final adoption of the amendment.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE for 4/1/2021:
NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
Please note this is being written on Thursday due to Good Friday and the Easter weekend. Both the Senate and House are meeting today, but will recess next week for Easter week.
I was going to write something crazy for April Fool’s Day, but in today’s political environment just about everything would be believable so I’ll just pass.
There was quite an emotional meeting on Tuesday with the Marine Resources Committee meeting when they considered H-181, WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION AMENDMENTS, with Chairman Bobby Hanig presiding. A PCS (Proposed Committee Substitute) was offered which removed giving the WRC proclamation authority and a section on hunting dogs. Rep. Jay Adams, Chairman of the Wildlife Resources Committee was a main sponsor of the bill and voiced his objections to the removals of those two provisions. There was quite a heated discussion. There were two members of the public who spoke on the bill: Manley Fuller of the NC Wildlife Federation spoke in favor of keeping the provisions on dogs and proclamation authority. I offered comments on behalf of NCFA and said we were opposed to giving the WRC proclamation authority due to the efforts by the Wildlife Federation to merge the WRC and Division of Marine Fisheries and this would be a step toward that process, and the attempts at changing the delineation of the lines between coastal and inland waters. The MFC believes the lines should stay the same and the WRC wants to change them, so if the WRC prevails their jurisdiction would be further east and more restrictions would hurt commercial fishermen. Giving the WRC proclamation authority could expedite that process.
The bill was given a favorable report by that committee and sent to House Finance. Bottom line is that both provisions regarding dogs and proclamation authority are OUT of the bill, but it goes to Finance next, then Rules, then the House floor, then the Senate. Things can change.
S-26 TERMINAL GROIN DEFINITION; nothing new as of 4/1
favorable report by Wildlife Resources Committee on 3/23;favorable report by Marine Resources Committee on 3/30 after deleting the sections on proclamation authority and dogs; now in House Finance Committee.
H-182 INCREASING MEAT PRODUCTION AND CAPACITY; nothing new as of 4/1
The above is the “short title”; full title is: AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN THE MEAT AND SEAFOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRIES IN NORTH CAROLINA BY MAKING PERMANENT THE “INCREASING SEAFOOD AND MEAT PRODUCTION AND CAPACITY” GRANT PROGRAM
sponsored by McNeely, Gillespie, Hanig, and Elmore;
Currently in Agriculture Committee; if favorable to Marine Resources.
Advisory panels play an important role in the Council process by providing information and recommendations during the development of fishery management plans, amendments, specifications, and other management measures. Advisory panels are composed of individuals with diverse experience and interest in Mid-Atlantic fisheries. Members include commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, for-hire operators, commercial dealers, scientists, environmentalists, and other members of the interested public.
Most advisory panels meet 1-2 times per year. Members are compensated for travel and per diem expenses for all meetings. Individuals who are appointed to advisory panels serve for three-year terms. All current advisory panel members must reapply in order to be considered for reappointment.
The Council is accepting applications for the following advisory panels:
·Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass
·Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish
·Surfclam and Ocean Quahog
·Ecosystem and Ocean Planning
·River Herring and Shad
·Spiny Dogfish (jointly managed with New England Council)
·Communication and Outreach (NEW)
Anyone interested in serving on an advisory panel may apply online or download an application at www.mafmc.org/advisory-panel-application. Applications can also be obtained by calling (302) 518-1143 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 23, 2021.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Mary Sabo at (302) 518-1143, email@example.com.
Water Quality for Fisheries (WQ4F) Program
North Carolina Fisheries Stakeholder,
Coastal Carolina Riverwatch seeks your valued input and participation in a new program that will be developed by fisheries stakeholders to benefit fisheries in North Carolina – Water Quality for Fisheries (WQ4F) Program.
The WQ4F program, through the development of an inclusive Industry Working Group, will determine, from the fishing communities, what water quality issues are impacting our fisheries, will evaluate current water quality programs and research in coastal North Carolina, and will collaboratively develop outreach for coastal citizens and visitors to better understand water quality impacts on fisheries and what all of us can do in our daily lives to help improve coastal water quality.
As a valued member of the fishing community, we look to you for your guidance, input, and participation in this process by attending a series of facilitated Industry Working Group stakeholder meetings.
Please register for the first Stakeholder meeting to be held on Wednesday, April 7th from 4:30 – 6:00 PM. This will be a virtual (Zoom platform) meeting with participation by phone available. We will begin the meeting at 4pm to troubleshoot with those who need assistance with connecting to the Zoom meeting. Click here to register.
Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to working with you to protect and improve our fisheries for today and for future generations.