Outer Banks fishermen are heading to Washington, D.C.
if the day breaks plum perfect and the fish are running, don’t
expect to find many Outer Banks fishermen heading out to sea on
Wednesday, Feb. 24.
and recreational fishermen from Dare County are planning to take part
in a rally in Washington, D.C., that day calling for reform of the
Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the federal
law that sets the framework for fishing regulations developed by the
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and its regional councils.
Seafood in Wanchese is organizing bus trips to the rally.
will depart from Avon Seafood in Avon and from Sugar Creek Restaurant
on the Manteo-Nags Head Causeway.
and recreational fishermen, affiliated fishing, seafood, and tourism
businesses, and community leaders from every coastal state will gather
on the steps of the Capitol from noon to 3 p.m. to protest what they
describe as the unforgiving collapse of coastal culture and economies
taking place under U.S. fisheries policy.
Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and George
LeMieux, R-Fla., will participate in the rally, and organizers said
they expect other elected officials to confirm participation soon.
Many fishermen also are arranging to meet with their congressional
delegations that day.
Etheridge at Etheridge Seafood said he anticipates a strong turn-out of
Dare County residents.
the concern of commercial fishermen alone,” he said.
said legislation reauthorizing the Magnuson Act has resulted in such
rigid time frames for rebuilding fish stocks and for ending overfishing
that fishermen and their communities are dealt devastating economic
original intent of Magnuson has been lost through the years as
environmental groups have pressed for conservation measures that trump
concern over negative economic impacts in nearly all situations,
according to Etheridge.
started hammering the commercial fishing industry and then moved on to
the charter-boat industry, but it’s become clear that
they’ve set their sights on recreational fishermen too,” he
cost of the bus trip from Dare County to the rally is $45. To
reserve seats on buses leaving Dare County, call Etheridge Seafood at
For information on buses leaving New Bern, call the North Carolina
Fisheries Association at 252-633-2288.
on the rally, Magnuson Act, and other fisheries issues are posted daily