June edition: News for and about commercial fishermen

By on June 13, 2018

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … And so it goes with fishing news during this session of the North Carolina General Assembly.

No proposed fishing legislation is moving through the chambers and is not expected to this session.
Currently held up in committee is House Bill 1049, sponsored by Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven It seeks to replace two at-large seats on the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission and re-establish the Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture.

One seat would have to be occupied by someone having more than 50 percent of their income derived from buying, selling, processing or distributing of seafood. The other would be for a person earning more than 50 percent of annual income from selling sports fishing goods or services.

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Also in committee is House Bill 1063, sponsored by Rep. Larry Yarborough, R-Granville, Rep. Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin and Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover, that seeks to restructure the commercial fishing license program and in doing so would take a huge step toward limited entry.

See more details on these two bills »

The bill that has received the most attention is House Bill 361, which has drawn heavy fire from both recreational and commercial fishermen. The bill would change the structure of the oyster leasing program thus opening the door for large corporation involvement.

Sponsored by Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, the proposed legislation would allow oyster leases up to 50 acres and allow individuals to have a total in leases of 300 acres, initially removed the residency requirement, and left unrsolved many concerns, such as conflict with traditional uses.

The Senate used a procedural maneuver to fast track it through the Senate by using an existing House bill that had passed that chamber last year. The original language was stripped out and replaced with the oyster legislation. It passed along party lines and was sent to the House for concurrence.

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The House voted 113-0 not to accept the bill as written and now it will go to a conference committee made up of members of both chambers. The committee will try to hammer out a bill acceptable to both chambers. Then it will be sent first to the floor of the House for a vote and then to the Senate.

See more background on this story »

Initially, the General Assembly leadership indicated that it would adjourn the session by Friday, June 15, but now say it will be before the end of the month.

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See what people are saying:

  • CATFISH

    Also in committee is House Bill 1063, sponsored by Rep. Larry Yarborough, R-Granville, Rep. Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin and Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover, that seeks to restructure the commercial fishing license program and in doing so would take a huge step toward limited entry. This Bill 1063 is a EVIL Bill FROM HELL THAT RECREATIONAL COMMERCIAL GEAR LICENSE (RCGL) would OUTLAW ALL FISHING USING 100 YARD GILL NETS AND OTHER RECREATIONAL COMMERCIAL GEAR IN NORTH CAROLINA THAT IS HARMLESS TO SEAFOOD POPULATION BECAUSE WHAT YOU CATCH YOU CANNOT SELL !!!
    It would be the same as OUTLAWING all FLY,ROD @ REEL, CHARTER,PIER ,SALT WATER FISHING in North Carolina !

    Thursday, Jun 14 @ 3:22 pm

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