Stories by Sandy Semans Ross

August edition: News for and about commercial fishermen

The quarterly meeting of the Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) convened last week in Raleigh with only one member representing the commercial fishing industry. That member, Mike Blanton, was sworn in before the meeting.

14 hrs


Marine Fisheries panel in disarray ahead of quarterly meeting

Just as the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission convenes on Wednesday in Raleigh, there has been a complete turnover of the panel's commercial fishing representation with two members resigning Monday night.

Aug 14


New shrimping rules slowly migrate through sea of bureaucracy

About 18 months later, the Division of Marine Fisheries has only produced a draft, which next needs the approval of the State Office of State Budget and Management. The OSBM can approve as-is or send it back for more work.

Aug 3


Latest edition: News for and about commercial fishermen

Another small step has been taken toward rulemaking requested by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation that was first submitted to Marine Fisheries Commission in November 2016 and accepted by the MFC on Feb. 16, 2017.

Content by Outer Banks Catch

Jul 25


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Constitutional amendments to bring legislators back in the fall

Lawmakers were expected to leave Raleigh after adjusting the two-year budget. But Republican leaders kept them around until the end of June to propose Constitutional amendments and have set a lame duck session for November.

Jul 9


Industrial-scale oyster farm bill left for dead in the House

The proposal that could have lead to a shift from a cottage industry to marine industrial operations owned by nonresident corporations appears to be a dead issue, after the state House did not act prior to Friday's self-imposed deadline.

Jun 15


Commentary: Questions abound with industrial oyster farm bill

Wonder what all the heartburn is about with the oyster restoration bill sponsored by local legislators Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, and Rep. Beverly Boswell, R-Dare? It’s dirty – plain and simple.

Jun 14


June edition: News for and about commercial fishermen

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.

Content by Outer Banks Catch

Jun 13


Fisheries bills may not get heard before legislature adjourns

The N.C. General Assembly is getting a crash course in commercial fisheries due to the variety of issues addressed in a pair of bills filed in the short session. But time is running out for those proposals to be heard, as the session may end by Friday.

Jun 11


Bill’s changes would allow industrial-scale oyster farming in N.C.

Proposed changes include removing the residency requirement and allowing individuals or companies to own up to a total of 300 acres in water column/bottom leases. Now, individual leases can range from .5 acre to 10 acres.

Jun 5


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