After a 7 1/2-hour meeting and five votes, committees of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission late Tuesday voted to recommend denying a petition that would have put more regulations on commercial fishermen.

Fishermen, shrimpers and owners of seafood establishments filled New Bern Riverfront Convention Center starting noon Tuesday and discussed regulations being proposed under a “petition for rulemaking” by N.C. Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit conservation group, that would shorten the number of days shrimp trawlers could fish, how much they could fish and where they could trawl in North Carolina waters.

So many people spoke against the petition, the chairman of the panel had to stop the public hearing while there were still 60 people signed up to speak.

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