August 25, 2015

Marine Fisheries Commission delays
vote on southern flounder proposals


The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission postponed action on proposals for southern Flounder management that had been scheduled for last week’s meeting.

During last week’s meeting, the board received a letter from N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Donald van der Vaart. Van der Vaart’s letter referenced and enclosed a letter he received from multiple members of the N.C. General Assembly asking him to temporarily rescind the commission’s authority to adopt a supplement to the state’s Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan.

Van der Vaart stated in his letter that he shared some of the legislators’ concerns and reemphasized his sole focus of achieving responsible management of southern flounder, while protecting the rights of all those who rely on the fishery. After reviewing both letters and noting the various concerns, Marine Fisheries Commission Chairman Sammy Corbett removed the issue from the agenda.

The commission was scheduled to select and approve management measures for southern flounder from six potential management proposals it had taken out for public comment. The six options range in impacts to different fisheries and gears. They can be found at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/southern-flounder-current-topic.

The letters can be found online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/southern-flounder-current-topic.

Once these concerns are addressed, the commission plans to hold a meeting in September to address the southern flounder issue. Details of the meeting date, time and location will be announced later.

In other business, the commission:
  • Voted to post draft information updates for the inter-jurisdictional and kingfish fishery management plans on the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ website for public review.
  • Approved a five-year fishery management plan schedule.
Prior to the meeting, van der Vaart administered the oath of office to new commission members Janet Rose and Keith Rhodes. Rose, of Moyock, fills a commercial fisherman seat and Rhodes, a Wilmington chef, fills an at-large seat.


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