We have reported a number of articles on the N. C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF). Our focus has been mostly on the inadequacy of the "science" DMF and its Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) use to regulate the fisheries industry in North Carolina.

However, in the course of researching these articles we have learned a great deal about how the DMF operates. It is another classic tale of a bloated bureaucracy that has become entangled in special interest politics. We'll save the details for later articles we are still working on, but what we have seen in DMF has been a perfect example of "mission creep" and a "solution looking for a problem to solve."

They create a crisis of their own making and then proclaim the need for more stringent regulations, to be followed by concerted requests for more staff and larger budgets. The policy-making is embroiled in special interest lobbying, backbiting and money politics. The two dominant special interests are the commercial fishermen (who use nets) and the NC Coastal Conservation Association, otherwise known as "recreational fishermen" who use mostly hook and line fishing. Of course there are enormous subsidiary interests from restaurants, motels, boat dealers and sporting goods outlets.

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