Stories by Sandy Semans Ross

Sunshine Week: Clouds, periods of sun, a few flurries

As part of Sunshine Week, an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community, Sandy Semans Ross details the state of open government locally and in North Carolina.

Mar 18

Shellfish leases turn into brier patch of thorny issues

Problems arising from the large increase in mariculture lease applications, including lawsuits aimed at blocking the granting of some leases, led the Marine Fisheries Commission to ask the state halt accepting applications for this year.

Mar 9

New fish house in Stumpy Point helps keeps a tradition alive

Since the closing of Roger Best’s Trinity Seafood in 1997, Stumpy Point has been without a fish house. That changed recently when Luke Midgett bought and razed the old Trinity building and built a new facility.

Feb 9

New rules for eel farming create barriers to enforcement

After years of controversy, at its February 2016 meeting, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s American Eel Management Board granted the state's request for 200 pounds of quota for glass eels.

Jan 12

Quest for eel quota continued as poachers raided fishery

The harvest and export of glass eels is limited to Maine and South Carolina, but the prized-sized fish are poached in other states and sold to dealers who export them overseas.

Jan 11

Tiny glass eel draws big money, political muscle and poachers

Following an EU ban on exports in 2010, the price paid to fishermen shot up from less than $100 to about $189 per pound and in recent years has topped $2,000. Dealers can get 2.5 to 3 times that in the Asian market.

Jan 10

OB Catch hosting summit on N.C. Fisheries Reform Act

The event will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Washington Civic Center in Washington, N.C., and will revisit the creation of the State’s first-ever comprehensive fisheries management structure set into law 20 years ago.

Sep 26

Money continues to pile up while fishermen wait on lawyers

It's been seven years since an agreement over a lawsuit doubled commercial fishing license fees to pay for observers to accompany fishermen, but the revenue is still tied up in legal limbo.

Sep 7

Marine Fisheries deflected input on turtle policies after lawsuit

After the settlement of a lawsuit over the lack of a federal permit for incidental takes of sea turtles while using large mesh net to fish for flounder in North Carolina waters, a group tasked with helping form new policies was ignored.

Aug 28

Turtles Permits Money A three-part series

A variety of maritime activities contribute to sea turtle deaths

Ask what water-based activity interacts the most with threatened and endangered sea turtles and many will reply without hesitation: commercial fishing. But state records show that to be incorrect.

Aug 21

Bag-ban repeal could still be considered later this month

Boat owners will no longer have to pay sales taxes on repairs, maintenance and installation services for boats, an aircraft or a qualified jet engine. Repeal of the bag ban survived conference committee cuts.

Aug 11

Mystery surrounds transfer of Festival Park oversight

Just as The Lost Colony ends shrouding the future in mystery, the next act of RIHA and Festival Park also leaves questions unanswered. Will RIHA Chairman Steve King, a Wisconsin resident and Manteo homeowner, be around for the next act?

Jun 26