would reduce citizen advisory
committees to Marine Fisheries Commission
draft report posing consideration of a sweeping reduction in the
citizen advisory committee system that supports the state Marine
Fisheries Commission has been issued by the North Carolina Department
of Environment and Natural Resources.
The draft Legislative Report on Boards, Commissions and Councils states
that one 11- to 13-member advisory council would be more cost-effective
than the current system of regional and standing committees. The
council would meet two weeks prior to meetings of the Marine Fisheries
Commission (MFC), the body that approves laws governing commercial and
recreational saltwater fishing in North Carolina.
in the 1980s, we had one advisory committee and it didn’t work
out well,” said B.J. Copeland, vice-chairman of the MFC, in a
committee structure was formally expanded to include four regional and
four standing advisory committees in 1997 when the Fisheries Reform Act
passed and decreased the size of the MFC from 17 to nine members.
was a member of a state committee that, after studying ways to improve
fisheries management in the mid-1990s, issued a report with
recommendations that became the backbone of the Fisheries Reform Act
thing we heard from the public over and over again was that the issues
are different from one area to another, and that was the basis for
creating regional advisory committees,” Copeland said.
some of the standing committees might be consolidated, “but the MFC
needs more than one advisory panel.”
The legislature would have to amend the FRA to change the advisory
Garrity-Blake, cultural anthropologist from Carteret County, worked
with Copeland on the management study and later served on the MFC for
citizens’ advisory groups were one of the most important things
to come out of the FRA,” Garrity-Blake said.
Copeland, she noted that fisheries issues are complex and vary from
region to region.
a candidate for state Senate representing Carteret, Pamlico and Craven
counties who has called for an overhaul of the FRA, supports a strong
advisory committee system.
could make the committees even more effective and stronger by
implementing a consensus building model and moving away from majority
rule,” she added.
2009 Appropriations Act required the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources to study the elimination or consolidation of
department boards and commissions with an eye towards cutting costs.
draft report was written and approved by senior staff in the
department, according to Jamie Kritzer, public information officer for
comments on the report are due by April 2, and can be submitted by
email to [email protected] or by mail
to: Steve Wall, DENR, 1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC
reviewing public comments, the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources will submit a final report to the General Assembly by May 1.
report will be discussed at the MFC meeting in Kitty Hawk on March 24