Written by Leslie Taylor
The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), a nonprofit trade association representing commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, recently announced a new leadership team. Incorporated in 1952, its administrative office is in Bayboro, N.C.
The recently elected board of directors includes representation from Dare County to Brunswick County, and all aspects of commercial fishing including harvesting, processing and trucking. Affiliate groups such as the Carteret County Fishermen’s Association and the Albemarle Fishermen’s Association also have voting representation on the board.
Mr. Brent Fulcher of B&J Seafood in New Bern is the newly elected chairman of the board of directors. Leslie Daniels of William Smith Seafood in Beaufort is treasurer.
At their April meeting, the NCFA Board agreed to move Jerry Schill from his position as interim executive director to president, a post he is very familiar with. He served as president previously for 18 years, resigning in 2005 to pursue other interests.
“I see a renewed interest across the board for commercial fishermen and their supporters to be engaged in the political and regulatory process”, said Chairman Fulcher. “We got complacent as a group and it reflected on the organization, but I see a much more interested fishing community that knows how important it is to organize. With Jerry’s past experience and his connections, combined with an activist Board, I am confident that we will be able to rebuild and re-energize NCFA as a successful voice for rural eastern North Carolina. Fishermen were also able to see the tremendous outpouring of support from seafood consumers at last year’s hearing in the General Assembly regarding gamefish and the hearing in New Bern about shrimp trawling. There are a lot of positives in play that gives everyone some hope”.
“I have noted a number of changes since becoming engaged in fisheries again”, said Schill. “Most notably is the interest of the rank and file fishermen in their participation with NCFA and in the fisheries management process. I have recently met with groups of fishermen in Brunswick, Onslow, Carteret, Chowan and Dare Counties and am very encouraged with their willingness to become involved. They realize it is a necessity”.
The Board also agreed to retain Maureen Donald as editor of Tradewinds, the official publication of NCFA. Donald was communications director of NCFA several years ago and has much experience in the newspaper business. NCFA ceased the printing of Tradewinds over two years ago, but the newly revised paper will be back later this month.
NCFA’s administrative assistant, Peggy Page, will continue working from the group’s administrative office in Pamlico County.
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