Shrimp Trawling At Risk

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Huge turnout urged for Nov. 17 meeting 

No data exists to support closure of $300 million industry 

The Islander Hotel & Resort in Emerald Isle will host Nov. 17, 18 & 19 sessions of the Marine Fisheries Commission where a majority vote of the nine-member board will likely end shrimping in North Carolina unless commercial fishing supporters show up in large numbers and also call designated officials.

EMERALD ISLE – The quarterly meeting of the Marine Fisheries Commission will be held here on Nov. 17, 18 & 19. This meeting will decide the future of shrimping in our state for at least the next five years, but the ramifications could last indefinitely.

Special interest groups have pressured the Division of Marine Fisheries to put forth recommendations that would close shrimp trawling in Neuse River, Bay River, Pamlico River, Turnagain Bay, West Bay, and many other areas. 

THIS MEANS ALL SHRIMPING!! Small boats to big boats, and most especially all recreational shrimping along the western edge of Pamlico Sound. 

This is a result of pressure from special interest groups, the CCA, NCWF, and others that demand there is a need to close these areas – regardless of proven data – due to by-catch and bottom disturbance. 

If you are going to save an industry that puts more than $300 million annually into North Carolina’s economy and employs thousands of people in direct and indirect jobs, you must make your voice heard at this meeting and to regulators at the Division who make policy,

STEP 1: Plan to attend the meeting at the Islander Motel, 102 Islander Drive, Emerald Isle, NC.  Doors will open at 4:30pm on Wednesday, Nov. 17 and sign ups for public comment will begin. Plan to get there as early as possible as inside seating will be limited due to space. All comments will be limited to three minutes so write yourself a clear and precise script of what you would like to say. 

STEP 2: Call the following individuals and explain the issues you have against this proposal:

Assistant Secretary of DEQ • John Nicholson • (919) 707-8624

Director of Marine Fisheries • Kat Rawls • (800) 682-2632

NCDMF Liaison to Commission • Laura Kilbansky • (252) 515-6020

OFFICE OF GOV.  • ROY COOPER • (919) 814-2000

Secretary of DEQ  • Elizabeth Biser • (877) 623-6748

You should also contact your local state Senator and Representative to inform them of your problems with this proposal and how it will directly affect your business and the employees that you maintain. 

The parties who want this – without justification – do not care whatsoever about the hard-working fishermen and their families that this will devastate. They only care about their driven desire to ride about on the $75,000-plus boats to fish and have no other parties to share the water.

PLEASE ACT NOW! YOUR EFFORTS CAN HELP SAVE AN INDUSTRY THAT IS THE BACKBONE OF EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA, AND A TRADITION THAT GOES BACK FOR GENERATIONS! ACT DECISIVELY AND DIRECTLY TO THOSE WHO WILL MAKE THE CRITICAL DECISIONS ON THIS ISSUE. 

Editor’s note: The County Compass will have more on this important topic in our Nov. 11 issue.