Two-hundred years ago, in 1822 to be exact, the North Carolina General Assembly was alerted to the fact that the population of oysters was declining in some of our state’s coastal waters due to overfishing. The fear was, if nothing was done, there could be serious consequences for a valuable resource and a lot of people.

Our legislators worked together (something modern politicians could learn from) and enacted legislation to impose gear restrictions on oyster harvest. Separate fish and shellfish commissions were established several years later and, in 1915, were combined to form a commercial regulatory body which we know today as the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF).

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