©2011 North Carolina Fisheries Association. All Rights Reserved
NC Fisheries Association, Inc.
PO Box 335
Bayboro, NC 28515-0335
Jerry Schill, President
Lauren Morris, Membership & Operations Manager
Peggy C. Page, Accounting
Become a Member
You can join by completing an application and mailing it to NCFA,or you may contact Lauren Morris at 252-725-2468.
DID YOU KNOW...
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is considering restrictions that could reduce southern flounder harvest 60 percent by Sept. 1 although scientists cannot determine the stock’s status and the Division of Marine Fisheries is not recommending action any action at this time?
On May 21, the Division of Marine Fisheries’ southern flounder biologist, Tom Wadsworth, explained to the commission during his presentation that the 2014 stock assessment “was not approved for determining stock status, which means that we’re not able to tell if the stock is overfished or overfishing is occurring.”
What does a 60 percent reduction mean for North Carolina?
Drastic cuts for recreational and commercial fishermen.
- According to the draft supplement, “An Oct. 1-Dec. 31 (commercial and recreational season) closure with a 16-inch minimum size limit and a one-fish recreational bag limit resulted in an estimated 60 percent reduction.” The commission has also approved six proposals for public comment that include a gill net ban, total season closures, an increased size limit that would cripple the northern commercial fishery, gear modifications that would be hard to comply with this late in the year, and severe restrictions on the commercial gig fishery.
Significant economic impacts to local economies.
- Seafood markets would struggle to meet demand translating to sharp price increases for consumers and less dollars for the families and communities of fishermen. In 2013, the Rural Center found flounder sold from $3.99-$17.99 per pound in 48 markets it surveyed. That same year fishermen landed roughly 2.2 million pounds. If the fishery had been cut by 60 percent that year and the price of flounder averaged just $7 per pound, North Carolina retailers would have lost almost $9.2 million. These estimates don’t take into account value added by tourism dollars from anglers and visitors who come to eat fresh caught, local seafood.
Quick and dirty fisheries management.
- The commission is considering a fast-track emergency process with no confirmed emergency, which allows them to act with little stakeholder input and free of legislative review. Without a valid stock assessment or recommendation from the Division of Marine Fisheries, the argument this is an urgent issue “impossible to address through the FMP amendment process” (as outlined in the commission’s guidelines) is fragile, at best. This push for emergency action is an end-run around the established management process which could effectively eliminate commercial gears and tremendously limit the availability of southern flounder for consumers.
DID YOU KNOW...
The commission has the power to destroy fishermen’s livelihoods and rob everyone of access to fresh local flounder without data, without oversight and without delay. Do not let them do it. It is YOUR livelihood, YOUR family’s well-being and YOUR voice that needs to be heard.