August 29, 2013
UPDATE: MFC votes unanimously to deny trawling ban
North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission voted unanimously today at
its meeting in Raleigh to deny a petition to reclassify most of the
state’s internal coastal waters as permanent secondary nursery areas.
advisory panels to the commission voted in July to recommend that the
petition be denied. If the petition for rulemaking had been granted, it
would have effectively banned shrimp and crab trawling in North
Carolina inshore waters.
The petition was filed in June by Tim
Hergenrader, a New Bern artist. Hergenrader -- who has publicly
supported a controversial gamefish bill promoted by the Coastal
Conservation Association, a lobby group for recreational fishing – has
defended the petition, saying it was about designating the nursery, not
about ending shrimping, since ocean trawling would not be affected.
But most shrimp in North Carolina are caught in the sounds by smaller vessels.
The motion to deny the petition passed 9-0.
MFC members said that the designation of additional nursery areas
should be based and scientific analysis and sampling, the petition
failed to provide sufficient scientific sampling and analysis to
justify rulemaking, and the petitioner failed to address substantial
The petition was vehemently opposed by the
state’s watermen. More than 700 fishermen, seafood dealers, business
owners, public officials, coastal community leaders, and fish consumers
descended on the New Bern convention center where the July meeting of
the four advisory panels was held to voice that opposition.