June 25, 2013
MFC schedules, then cancels meeting to
consider banning trawling in inside waters
By IRENE NOLAN
Fisheries Commission Chairman Rob Bizzell yesterday scheduled a meeting
for Friday to consider a petition for rulemaking that effectively would
prohibit trawling in North Carolina’s internal coastal waters. Then
today, he cancelled the meeting.
According to an MFC press
release, Bizzell has decided, instead, to ask the Finfish,
Shellfish/Crustacean, Habitat and Water Quality and Sea Turtle advisory
committees to review and comment on the petition prior to the Marine
Fisheries Commission vote.
The schedule of meetings for these advisory committees will be announced in the coming days.
petition, submitted by Tim Hergenrader, asks the commission to adopt a
rule that makes North Carolina’s internal coastal waters permanent
secondary nursery areas, unless they are currently designated as
primary nursery areas or special secondary nursery areas. A Marine
Fisheries Commission rule, already in place, prohibits the use of trawl
nets in secondary nursery areas.
Under state law, the commission
has 120 days from the date a formal petition for rulemaking is
submitted to either grant or deny the petition. If the commission
grants the petition, it will begin a rulemaking process which will
include fiscal analysis, notice of text in the state register, a public
comment period and at least one public hearing.
If a rule should
be adopted, it would ban trawling in all inside water, such as the
sounds, and would eliminate such activities as trawling for shrimp.
The petition for rulemaking can be found on the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/june-2013-mfc-briefing-book.
For more information, contact Nancy Fish, division liaison to the Marine Fisheries Commission, at 252-808-8021 or [email protected].