The following is from the North Carolina Fisheries Association’s (NCFA) weekly news and updates. Learn more about the NCFA at https://ncfish.org/.
At last week’s Marine Fisheries Commission meeting, several actions were taken. At the public comment period, NCFA’s Chairman Brent Fulcher and Executive Director Glenn Skinner both addressed the Commission.
Fulcher welcomed the new commissioners and said he looked forward to working with them all. He spoke of the continuing success of the shrimp bycatch reduction efforts and noted that North Carolina leads the country in bycatch reduction in that fishery. He also reminded the commissioners that NCFA had suggested to DMF in the past that they institute a call in requirement for those involved in the gillnet fishery that require observers. He said in certain federal fisheries that require observers, it’s mandated that the boats call in to let them know where they intend to fish and when they plan to leave the dock. He said it’s a fairer system because the same few fishermen aren’t always the ones taking out observers. Fulcher also made the point that the advisory system seems to work better at the federal level and cited the frustration that many advisors have with the North Carolina process because their input is diminished or ignored when it gets to the Commission.
Skinner also welcomed the new commissioners and reiterated what he wrote in an email to all Commissioners prior to the meeting that they should not take any action on controversial issues due to the fact that there are two vacancies on the Commission as a result of Sammy Corbett and Alison Willis resigning earlier in the week.
From the Commission:
On Thursday, August 17, the MFC voted to begin development of Amendment 2 to the North Carolina Shrimp Fishery Management Plan.
Amendment 2 to the Shrimp Plan will include the following general focus areas:
State law requires the Division of Marine Fisheries to review fishery management plans every five years. Amendment 1 to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan was adopted in 2015, and scheduled for review in 2020.
The decision to move forward the Shrimp Plan review schedule means the Division of Marine Fisheries will be developing four fishery management plans this fiscal year. Three of them — the Blue Crab, Southern Flounder, and Shrimp plans — are for top state fisheries. The division is also developing an amendment to the Estuarine Striped Bass Plan jointly with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
In other business, the commission: