#ncpol: THREE COUNTIES join NC Fisheries Assoc. in suing THE STATE re: job-killing regs

We’ve written previously about this scuffle between state regulators and commerciallawyerup fishermen along the North Carolina coast.   Now, it appears things have spilled over into the courtroom. Just in time for a big statewide election. 

The North Carolina Fisheries Association, The Carteret County Fishermen’s Association,  and the governments of Hyde, Dare and Carteret counties have joined together in a lawsuit against state wildlife officials.  Defendants in the suit include the secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), the director of the state’s Marine Fisheries Division, and the members of the commission overseeing the work of the Marine Fisheries Commission.

What’s led to this?  The plaintiffs released a written statement:

[…] The practical effect of the litigation is to stop the closure of the recreational and commercial southern flounder fisheries, scheduled to take effect this fall.biggovt

Brent Fulcher, Board Chairman of the North Carolina Fisheries Association, said “Filing a lawsuit is the last resort for us. We testified many times last year before the Marine Fisheries Commission that using the supplement is the wrong approach and should be managed by a full-blown amendment that allows full public participation. Our advice was totally ignored.”

“In my 29 years of involvement with these fisheries issues, this is only the second time that we filed litigation against the Division of Marine Fisheries”, said Jerry Schill, President of the Fisheries Association. “Fishermen must have confidence in the process for management to be successful, but with the Commission and the Division ignoring the law and even their own guidelines, we have no other option left.”

The 30-page complaint alleges the management measures made by the defendants were arbitrary and based on inadequate scientific data using an abbreviated regulatory process and did so in violation of the North Carolina Open Meetings Laws.[…]

19 thoughts on “#ncpol: THREE COUNTIES join NC Fisheries Assoc. in suing THE STATE re: job-killing regs

  1. If Governor McCrory had listened to conservatives, and had appointed conservatives, this never would have happened. Instead he or his team at DENR listened to the radical environmentalists of the CCA.

    If McCrory is reelected, he ought to wipe the slate clean in that department (and in fact in most departments) and start appointing solid Republicans. Jim Martin can tell him how to do is because that is the way Martin operated as governor.

  2. I would like to say I consider ” state wildlife officials” to be those associated to NC Fish and Wildlife which are charged with the management of hunting and recreational fishing rules and regs. The defendants in this case are charged with those rules and regs that affect the usage of NC (citizen owned) marine resources that are managed as a food commodity or at least should be managed as such, for the consumers. The problem is that some, and intentionally so, of the MFC members camoflauged as conservationist want control of NC waters for their playground. I will group those members of the MFC as Coastal CONSERVATION Association enablers. That have no concern for the general economy, the culture, or the recreational fishermen who want to enjoy catching a meal to take home. To the elite recreational CCA member it is all about catching kissing and releasing the most and biggest.
    It is high time for the DMF to be placed underneath the Dept of Agriculture to be regulated as the producer of the protien food products that it is.

    Browny Douglas

    1. The Dare and Carteret County Commissions have GOP majorities. These folks are grass roots Republicans who listen to their constituents. It says something when they have to sue a supposedly Republican administration in Raleigh that is listening an arrogant elitist special interest like the radical CCA, instead of the people.

  3. Department of agriculture?

    What does agriculture have to do with this? No effort is being done to grow or maintain a resource for commercial effort. Do we have a department of Foraging?

    If you have done any reading on this subject, you know that commercial fishing is small potatoes. Legally brings in about 90M dollars, about 62m of which are in crabs/shrips/oysters. Call it 30m in legal finfish landings, about $3m of which are flounder.

    Most estimates of the recreational fisherman impact to nc ecomomy is about $1Billion dollars. Or 11 times the entire commercial fishing industry of the state. And 34 times the fin fishing commercial value to the state.

    So instead, why don’t we put managing the fishery under the department of Tourism? So that they can manage it to benefit the state the most.

    As to GUwonder… Yeah, I’m a republican. But I’m not blind to the overfishing going on. And I don’t see why NC is the only state on the east coast dumb enough or corrupt enough to allow gill nets and inshore shrimp trawling.

  4. Want to fix NC fisheries. Ban gill nets like 90% of the other southern States. Want to know why there are so many in NC? They left states that banned them to come reap from the NC coastline and finish off what is left of our resources.

  5. Len. You need to get your facts straight. Call the DMF and ask for the value of NC seafood. I could tell you where to look, but we’ll keep it simple. When you get that figure, understand that this figure is ex-vessel. In layman’s terms, that means it is the worth of the commodity to the boat. No multipliers. Seafood is considered a commodity by federal agencies, and that is why seafood facilities undergo inspections, and that is why HAACP certifications must be maintained. Overfishing? Please give examples, so I can rebut you on every one. I have facts. You have opinion. A republican? Jobs, taxes, and the economy? Go get yourself a “let them eat impprts” sticker for your car, and a KIllary sign for your yard. In the meantime, educate yourself, so you don’t appear so ignorant in a public forum.

  6. I have never had any connection to the seafood industry, but I love to eat seafood. I like being able to get local wild caught seafood whose quality I can trust. Foreign imports from fish farms with questionable practices are too much of a crap shoot.

    The radicals of the CCA are conducting a war on seafood lovers and it needs to be brought to a screeching halt. The McCrory administration needs to stop listening to these arrogant left wing elitists. All CCA infected GOP legislators need to be taken out in primaries.

  7. I get a kick out of all the folks on this thread calling the CCA left-wing, radicals, elitists, etc. An obvious attempt at disinformation because, it just ain’t true. The CCA and RFA are the only organizations trying to save what is left of a decimated resource thanks to inshore trawling and gill-nets. As already stated, why is it NC is the ONLY state in the union that allows unfettered gill-netting (other than when turtle interactions shut them down) and large scale inshore shrimp trawling? Trawling kills about 4 lbs of juvenile finfish for every pound of shrimp taken. 4:1 folks!!! That AND it tears up the bottom of our sounds preventing all sorts of natural estuary life to ever take hold. Sure, its good for shrimp, but nothing else.

    Is NC just that special or just that stupid to allow this to continue? Seems to be the latter, so far. The data shows numerous species have either been wiped out, severely depleted, or about to collapse, despite what the great BS says. If any suit is filed it should be against NCFA for the damage they have been doing to our public trust resource. Hey, now there’s an idea……

    1. Preach it brother! We environmentalists are not radicals, no matter what our demands are. Save the polar bears. Save the trees. Save the fish. Save the planet. Screw the humans.

  8. The only people defending the commercial industry on this site with their comments are commercial fishermen themselves. If you are interested in the truth then go to the NC Division of Marine Fisheries website and simply look at the stock status listing that shows whether a fish stock is viable, concerned, overfished, or depleted. The state has no axe to grind here, they are simply keeping score of what is left out there. If you don’t believe what the state tells you then please furnish them with your scientific data for every scientist and every peer reviewer that has looked at this issue has deemed these stocks over fished since 2002. The stocks continue to decline and in spite of Barrister Weeks comments, the last three peer reviewers all said the stocks need to be rebuild by curbing harvest. Either we let a few have them for personal profits or we rebuild them for everyone. I don’t see how any conservative in this state who so proudly stands up for the proper use of government assets can support this demise of a public asset just as real as tax dollars.

    1. Climategate taught us the utter corruption of the ”peer review” process in science today. My stomach churns when I hear that term now in any field.

  9. My goodness, Ray Brown. You say ” If you are interested in the truth”. The truth is the MFC has the appearance of being corrupt. The MFC threw science to the wind with regards to management decisions. Politics rules the MFC not applicable science.The MFC is an embarrassment to this State. In fact the MFCCCA looked past the divisions last top marine patrol leader who retired with 3 felony charges against him, committed while on duty. It is true that one sitting MFC member was officially uninvited, by the family, to the funeral of the late chairman of the MFC. Because of his relentless demanding of the Chairman. It is true that right now up our way there are so many shrimp, 8 to 10 inch rock AND speckle trout that if you fell overboard and drowned you could not sink to the bottom where the flounder are just as thick. The future looks bright for fishing if nature so delivers. Nature is in control. Period. The MFC only manages people. The CCA is about big gov’t control of those people for the benefit of a few. The truth is, right is right and wrong is wrong. The G A needs to right this wrong in the long session coming up. If the MFC and DMF cannot be sanitized in their present department it needs to be moved to the Dept of Agriculture.

    Browny Douglas

  10. Ray, and Bruce. You two continue on the thread that “if I repeat the lie, enough, it will become truth. First, Bruce, the 4.1 pounds of shrimp to by Catch was a lie produced by the late DMF Director, Louis Daniel. He admitted it was a lie when we pressed him to produce the data. The facts. He admitted, publicly, that the figure was one he “pulled out of thin air, and didn’t know where it came from”. So, don’t play me for a sucker, when I know the truth. Show me the science! Show me the facts! “Peer review”. The peer review of the flounder stock assessment was rejected, outright, because the model was an outdated model whose basic premise was based on a static stock of flounder that did not migrate! Our own biologists acknowledged two assessments ago that flounder migrate, and the model presumptions were wrong, and that the stock assessment should not be released due to this fatal flaw. You heard me. Fatal flaw. Now!!!!!!!! Our pound netter have realized, and the state DMF have admitted, under Louis Daniel, that the landings of pound net fish have been added wrong, and the landings were attributed to the wrong areas. One! Pound netter, alone, caught more than the entire state acknowledged was caught in area A. One. Ray, you continually amaze me. You, and Louis, have to be related. Neither can open your mouth without an outright lie spewing forth. The CCA, and RFA?????? Two absolutely pitiful, elitist, groups that have no qualm telling outright lies, continually, and expecting the public to believe it is truth. Walter Findren, and Viking Yachts won’t make a lie, the truth. No matter how many times you say it. http://www.ncwu.net

    1. So Britton,

      Do you actually read what you write? Anything you don’t agree with is automatically “lies”? And who the hell made you the arbiter of what is truth or not truth? The only truth you seem to see is that which fits your preconceived notions and agenda. It seems any data you don’t like is either a lie or was not gathered correctly.

      Since you seem to be the keeper of “truth” please enlighten us, what is the “correct” average bycatch ratio of an otter trawl in Pamlico Sound? Please be specific.

      And by the way, the peer review of the flounder study was not “rejected outright” and you damn well know it. Two of the three biologists accepted it and while one of them rejected it because some of the methods used were not correct but they all said it could still be used for management purposes. You can quit the hyperbole any time.

      And why in the world would anyone accept any biologists assessment that is on your payroll? Talk about conflict of interest! Would you accept the data from a biologist the CCA or RFA hired? Hell no you wouldn’t and you know it! Ironic that COI reared its ugly head again just today regarding your frivolous lawsuit in that the judge had to (was asked?) recuse himself. He should have done that from the get go.

      This threads little pissing contest is a microcosm of exactly why our fisheries are in the sad shape they are in. Instead of all user groups working together to rebuild the resource all that seems to happen is the user groups dig in deeper, call each other names, no one believes a word the other “side” says, and interests seem to diverge even further. Its way past time to make it about the resource, OUR public trust resource. I’ll be the first to admit that with all the bad blood and history that is a pretty lofty goal but that “should” be the way things work. If not, we can all count on it being a long messy fight going forward.

  11. “The CCA is about big gov’t control of those people for the benefit of a few.”

    Seems to me replacing the CCA with NCFA in that sentence would be more accurate. Any objective analysis of the history of NC fisheries management would make that eminently clear.

  12. Bruce, the NCFA as all other genuine commercial fishermen’s associations are the providers for the consumers. With NC alone having a 10 million population, and the CCA membership being less than 1/10 of 1 % of that total, I strain to make sense of your statement.

    Browny Douglas

    1. Don’t you understand? The CCA are hard core environmentalists. They protect the environment from nasty humans. They are the chosen few and they simply matter more than redneck peons.

  13. AL, I do understand what you say, but I do not agree with you. Correct reasoning dictates that sound science should be the basis for management decisions. That has not been the case for as long as the CCA has been manipulating N C politicions and that began in the yrs of Governor Hunt. The extreme enviros and BIG oil have such deep pockets that muscle $ has been abundant for the CCA ‘S chosen direction of effectiveness for quite sometime. There is no effective argument to the contrary that the CCA illegally, if need be, controls the MFC. This fails the RIGHT vs WRONG test.
    I am in my 7th decade now. I have vivid memories of fishing adventures back to the age of three. I have fished for fun, competition and a living. I get it. The State of N C can ill afford to relinquish control of it’s coastal waters and it’s bounty of fresh seafood over to anyone outside of “we the people” of N C. The CCA of NC dances to the National.

    Browny Douglas

  14. You know its mostly the same few no fact proving people on some of the FB sites that I see commenting on here. I’m sick of seeing claims of NO FISH! When you can look on all these RFA/CCA supporters FB pages of their guiding and charter businesses doing so great. Pictures,comments,reviews from clients of great fishing. Pictures of gigged flounders covering their driveway. Advertising flounder gigging trips, excellent gigging and fishing trips they say. But the same ones and their buddies say”NO FISH, GILLNETS CAUGHT EM ALL”.. So what’s the truth? Are they posting how wonderful floundering is to get clients, or are they telling the truth? Pictures don’t lie, people do! All summer on these guiding and charter business pages, tons of pictures or flounders, speckled trout and red drum being posted. By the same people that go online and say they’re is no fish, they’ve been overfished and overharvested by gillnets for years. Someone is lying here!!! Its not hard to figure out who has their facts straight and who are the greedy ones! Ray Brown and his fake name buddies wouldn’t know a fact or science if it slapped em in the face. Thats their fear of this lawsuit, a judge will only listen to the facts. One more thing, why would the RFA/CCA want only female southern flounders targeted? BECAUSE THEY DONT KNOW THE SCIENCE,FACTS OR DATA CONCERNING THE SOUTHERN FLOUNDER!!! Can’t avoid this, what is a Bruce Lee? Ridiculous!!!! How bout one fact? If 1\4 of NC’s recreational fishermen keep ONE 15″ southern flounder per year, that’s more lbs of southern flounders than the entire commercial fishery lands in NC! I can go on about speckled trout and red drum as well. Do the math haters of commercial fishing, you’ll be proven wrong over n over again! As Chuck says, GOOD FISHING!!

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