January 15, 2018

  Marine Fisheries Commission Accepting Public Comment
on Proposed Changes to Commercial Fishing License


The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is accepting public comment on five recommended changes to the commercial fishing license structure it plans to further discuss at its February meeting.

“Nothing here is etched in stone,” said commission Chairman Sammy Corbett.

A committee made up of three commission members voted yesterday to recommend the full commission begin deliberations with the following proposed requirements for holding a Standard Commercial Fishing License:

  1. Must have 50 percent of earned income from the Trip Ticket Program as in the Fisheries Reform Act of 1997. There is already a statutory precedent for a commercial fisherman in the Fisheries Reform Act.
  2. A fisherman must have 36 trip tickets per year.
  3. To address crew issues for those who do not have trip tickets, but are bona fide commercial fishermen as crew or any commercial fishing interest in North Carolina or outside the state, proof of income of $10,000 or more per year. The proof of income should come from a commercial fishing operation, business, etc. doing business in North Carolina.

(The commission can decide if items 1, 2 and 3 are stand alone or a combination thereof.)

  • Inactive Standard Commercial Fishing Licenses that do not have any of the above with a three-year running average, would go back into a special pool and these licenses may be reissued to the original holder subject to commitment to 1, 2 and/or 3 above without going through the Eligibility Pool.
  • Create a Heritage Standard Commercial Fishing License that families may want to maintain that are inactive. The license may be maintained for $100 per year and may be reissued one time to a family member without going through the Eligibility Pool or any of the 1, 2 and 3 requirements listed above. If the reissuance of the license is not wanted, a one-time fee of $100 will retire that license number.

The proposals would require legislative approval.

Members of the public wishing to comment on the proposals may do so during the regular comment period at the Feb. 14-15 commission meeting at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, 275 Waynick Blvd., Wrightsville Beach. The public comment period will begin at 6 p.m. Feb. 14.

The public may also comment in writing after 8 p.m. today to [email protected] or to:

Commercial Licenses Comments
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
Marine Fisheries Commission Office
P.O. Box 769
Morehead City, N.C. 28557

Written comments must be received by Feb. 9.

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