The North Carolina Coastal Federation is currently accepting applications for “on-water” cleanup assistance relating to its annual Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project. This project is open to commercial watermen and women in North Carolina. This project is funded by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Resource Fund Committee and the Funding Committee for the N.C. Commercial Resource Fund under the Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Grant Program and is intended to improve habitat, water quality and support coastal economies.
Eligible participants are selected for involvement in this program to help the federation and N.C. Marine Patrol remove lost fishing gear from coastal waters during the “no-potting” period. In January 2019, commercial watermen and women in partnership with Marine Patrol officers removed 3,112 pots from select areas in Districts 1, 2, and 3. The 2021 project will take place in select areas within all three Marine Patrol Districts statewide, during the closed seasons:
- Jan. 1-31 north of the Highway 58 bridge to Emerald Isle
- March 1-15 south of the Highway 58 bridge
Compensation is $450 per boat per day. A captain and mate are required for each boat. Captain refers to the individual who is in charge of and provides the vessel. (A merchant mariner credential is not required for this project.) To be considered, captains must have a valid North Carolina standard commercial fishing license (SCFL).
A copy of the license must be submitted with this application. While there are no eligibility requirements for crewmen, priority will be given to applicants whose crew also have a SCFL. All crewmen will be held to the same violation criteria (listed below) as boat captains.
This project requires applicants to adhere to the following conditions:
1. Agree to guarantee availability for work during the specified closed season listed above.
2. Provide and manage their own working vessel and acquire a mate.
3. Complete a minimum of three working days, following the hours of 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. for the project period.
4. Use an electronic data collection tablet (provided) to document recovered gear. In appropriate areas, applicants may be required to use side-scan sonar to search for submerged, non-visible gear.
5. Attend a mandatory training session to learn use of project equipment and protocol.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation is an equal opportunity employer.
All applicants will be screened for their violation history by N.C. Marine Patrol and will not be eligible to participate in the project if they have had any significant violations. Applicants will also be reviewed with the state’s vendor list and will be ineligible if debarred or suspended from doing business with the state. Once selected, participants may be asked to provide proof of liability insurance, worker’s compensation, or waive all liability.
The federation anticipates requiring assistance from near 30, two-man boat crews, but reserves the right to accept fewer participants if circumstances warrant. If more boats are available than are needed for a particular project area/timeframe, watermen will be selected via random selection based on the project and location requested. Preference will be given to those captains with the greatest number of fishing days on the water, measured by trip tickets. Equipment installed on an applicant’s boat that may be of use to the retrieval effort (e.g., pot puller, pot rack) also will increase competitiveness of the application, as pot collection efficiency likely will be higher.
When submitting your application, please read the directions and criteria carefully.
By submitting an application for this lost fishing gear recovery project, you are agreeing to the conditions put in place by the North Carolina Coastal Federation and N.C. Marine Patrol. If you are selected to assist with the project, you will be acting solely as an independent contractor and not as an employee of the State of North Carolina or the North Carolina Coastal Federation. The aforementioned groups are not liable for any incidents or accidents that occur as a result of this work. Project managers and/or Marine Patrol officers will be on-water and should be granted permission to board your boat at any time to ensure the work is being completed as outlined.
Please fill the form out completely before returning it to the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s Wanchese office. Please return forms as soon as possible. Additional drop off locations maybe available by appointment only. Please call Sara to schedule an appointment or to request further assistance. New applicants may be asked to submit references, upon request.
When submitting your application please include a copy of your North Carolina Standard Commercial Fishing License (SCFL).
Send all completed forms to:
North Carolina Coastal Federation
ATTN: Sara Hallas
P.O. Box 276
Wanchese, NC 27981
Or fax to: 252-473-2402
Please contact Sara Hallas with any questions.
Telephone: (252) 473-1607
Cell: (330) 717-3205