The N.C. Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee will meet jointly with the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee at 10:30 a.m. April 26 at the Department of Environmental Quality’s Washington Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.
The two committees are scheduled to approve a memorandum of understanding between them regarding the Commercial Fishing Resource Fund.
The committees are responsible for deciding how to spend money from the fund, which receives partial proceeds from commercial fishing license sales.
In 2014, the N.C. General Assembly approved a fee increase for six commercial fishing licenses. The fee increase began in fiscal year 2015-2016. Under the law, proceeds from the increased fees goes into a Commercial Fishing Resource Fund.
The fund pays for observer coverage to fulfill the state’s obligations under incidental take permits for sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon under the federal Endangered Species Act. Without the incidental take permits, the state’s gill net fisheries must close.
Any additional money from the fund is to be used for projects to develop and support sustainable commercial fishing in the state. Spending from the fund must be approved by the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee, which is made up of six commercial fishing representatives.
The Marine Fisheries Commission has delegated its funding decisions to a Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Committee comprised of members of the commission holding the three commercial fishing seats.
The meeting is open to the public. An agenda can be found here.
For more information, contact Beth Govoni, Grants program manager with the Division of Marine Fisheries, at 252-808-8015 or Beth.Govoni@ncdenr.gov.