In 1994, the North Carolina General
Assembly implemented a moratorium on the sale of new commercial
fishing licenses and established the N.C. Fisheries Moratorium
Steering Committee to study the coastal fisheries management process
and to recommend changes to improve the system.
The North Carolina Fisheries Reform
Act, signed by Governor James B. Hunt on Aug. 14, 1997, was based on
the final report of the Moratorium Steering Committee.
The year 2017 marks the 20th
anniversary of the 1997 N.C. Fisheries Reform Act, far-reaching
legislation that changed how fisheries are managed in North
Developed over the course of more than
three years during a period of heightened concern over the future of
the state’s marine resources, the Fisheries Reform Act set the
framework for mandated fisheries management and coastal habitat
protection plans, restructuring of commercial fishing licenses, and
development of a recreational fishing license.
Oral history interviews are capturing
the accounts of key individuals who have played instrumental roles in
the implementation of the Fisheries Reform Act (FRA) or in its
initial conception and development. The interviews will provide
a record of the successes and shortcomings of the FRA in addressing
the environmental, social, and economic challenges of the past two
decades and the prospective value of the FRA in addressing emerging
In the initial phase of the project,
audio excerpts from interviews will be featured on the Coastal Voices
The complete interview recordings and
transcripts will be available later this year. Podcasts
featuring interview excerpts will be created early next year.
All of these materials will be available online at no-charge for use
by individuals and organizations.
The project is funded by the North
Carolina Sea Grant Community Collaborative Research Grant Program.
Coastal Voices is a project that aims
to preserve the maritime heritage of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands
and Down East Carteret County through oral histories