Move to curtail NC shrimping faces long road

Industry promises heavy opposition to petition that would cut time on the water


The move to limit shrimping in North Carolina waters is slowly making its way through the fishery management process despite several groups’ contending the science was flawed and the method used to push the petition forward side-stepped the usual rule-making process.

“This should never have been approved,” said Sandy Semans Ross, executive director of Outer Banks Catch. “Twelve of the 16 scientists who commented on the petition said it was not backed up by data, and that it should not move forward.”

The petition, pushed by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, asks the state to designate waters in the sounds and 3 miles into the ocean as primary nursery areas for various species starting Jan. 1, 2018, cutting the number of days shrimp-ing is allowed, the amount of time nets can be in the water and gear that can be used.

Despite the opposition, the petition is going forward — at a snail’s pace. The lengthy, multistep process will likely take more than a year to complete beginning with the development of a fiscal note, which is basically the price tag of the regulations including the cost to enforce and what it will cost those directly affected.

The projected economic effect on fishermen, dealers and consumers is expected to exceed $1 million, triggering the law that requires the creation of at least two options to the proposed rules — a study funded with state tax dollars. The options will be published to the State Register, opening the door for public comment and hearings.

The whole process will likely take several months before the final proposal is submitted to the state’s Rules Review Commission when a 24-hour window would open for written comments to be submitted. If 10 letters oppose the regulations, then the matter would be forwarded to the N.C. General Assembly. It is expected to be May 2018 at the earliest before the final rules proposal would be ready for consideration.

About the author

Maureen Donald is a freelance correspondent for National Fisherman.

  • DUAL-C

    Just another case of the CCA,NCDMF,Tree huggers,Turtle snugglers,and liberal scientists getting their egos and pockets massaged.This area was founded on fishing ,shrimping and all the commercial jobs these info-idiots are out to destroy.

© Diversified Communications. All rights reserved.