‘Travesty of the truth and moral injustice’ says one

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Commercial fishing industry urges huge turnout for Jan. 17 meeting

By Doug Cross | Pamlico Packing Co.

NORTH CAROLINA — Once again the commercial fishermen of this state are faced with proposed measures that would eliminate their ability to make a living and provide for their families.

This time it comes in a guise proposed by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation that would make Pamlico Sound, additional internal waters, and the Atlantic Ocean out to three miles a ‘special secondary nursery area.’

This, just coincidentally, is where the shrimping fleet of North Carolina works to provide for their families. This measure would once again close or severely limit any trawling in these waters and virtually eliminate the shrimp fishery for this state as we know it. 

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Make no mistake this will ELIMINATE it and starve families and keep any consumer from access to Wild North Carolina shrimp products.

So you may ask “How is this possible?” or “How is this even being considered from a moral point of view”?  Well, it’s possible because the average John Smith has been convinced through propaganda and rhetoric that the commercial fisherman is basically the “Evil Empire” when it comes to fishing and the ultimate cause of Mr. Smith’s lack of success with a rod and reel.

It’s considered from a moral point of view because the special interest groups have no morals when it comes to denying a hard working citizen his right to provide for his family. The North Carolina Wildlife Federation in this instance is acting and being pushed by members to seek another way to eliminate trawling from the waters.

The truth of the matter is that they are a front for the true organization behind every effort that comes up to eliminate the commercial fisherman — the Coastal Conservation Association, also known as CCA.

As with the last two efforts pushed by the CCA, the Gamefish Bill and the Hergenrader petition, the CCA is ALWAYS looking to eliminate the commercial fisherman at EVERY level.  They are a well-funded, politically entwined organization whose sole purpose is to rid the world of commercial fishing. They don’t care how or who it hurts as long as they achieve their goals.  This is where the moral questions come into play.  Just how far will they go to achieve this purpose?

There can be little to no doubt that past and current members of the Marine Fisheries Commission are on the CCA payroll or have special interests involved with them.  From active blog-site owners, administrators and current members, these commissioners have one goal and one goal only, to continue the support of any and all rules changes and modifications that will eliminate any and all commercial fishing.

They cast aside any facts and due process that will lead to the truth about fisheries and try to circumvent the fishery management plans that they themselves voted in with measures such as the re-classification of the waters that they are now seeking.

They even enlist former employees of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries such as its former director Dr. Louis Daniel.  Dr. Daniel has been asked to represent, or perhaps retained by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation in this push to reclassify these water of North Carolina in question.

In this presentation there are numerous points that you are expected to believe as absolute fact, especially coming from a former director of the very organization that he now presents this information back to as fact for their consideration.

Is this fact or is it now well-crafted rhetoric once again designed to blind the average person to the truth?  If we are going to seek the truth in these issues, then the truth has to be based on science and proven facts. The very same facts were questioned by Dr. Daniel, when he served as Director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. In an Oct. 2, 2012 letter from Dr. Daniel to the Coastal Fisheries Reform Group, Daniel wrote:

“The majority of the finfish taken as bycatch in the shrimp trawl fishery are juvenile fish, which have a high natural mortality.”

At other points in the in the letter, Daniel also wrote:

“Also, the CRGF letter implies that other states which have banned inshore trawling have built ‘thriving fisheries’  on species such as weakfish, spot, and croakers. The decline in the stocks of these fisheries is in fact coast wide, and not just a NC phenomenon. The decline has been most apparent in states where inshore trawling is not allowed and where recreational landings have historically been the highest.”

Louis Daniel letter to CFRG about shrimp trawl by catch 2012

“North Carolina currently has the largest recreational landings of any state along the Atlantic Coast.”

Want to attend?

Open to the public, the meeting cited by Mr. Cross in this article is set for 12:30 pm Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Riverfront Convention Center in downtown New Bern.

“Scientists along the Atlantic coast have concluded that it is likely natural mortality, NOT FISHING MORTALITY (harvest or discards), that is the driving factor in the current weakfish decline.” (Emphasis added.)


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