Friday, August 20, 2010

NC Marine Fisheries Commission Pursues Continued Destruction of Depleted Fish Stocks: Asks NC Legislators For Permission To Circumvent Law

In a move that shocked even some of the most hardened political observers in NC, the NC Marine Fisheries Commission has requested permission from the NC legislature to exclude Southern Flounder and Speckled Trout from a new law that would require the ending of overfishing in two years. Both Southern Flounder and Speckled Trout are depleted and overfished here in NC. The commercial fishing industry that controls the MFC here in NC has decided that they are above the law, and if the law will not allow them to overharvest fish, they will change the law!

In the letter above, the NCMFC asks the Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture to agree with them that any Fisheries Management Plan that was completed before the new law requiring the ending of overfishing in 2 years be exempt from the law. What this conveniently means is that commercial fishermen can continue to overharvest Flounder and Speckled Trout because the FMP's for those 2 fish were completed before this law was enacted.

The problem is that all of the legislators that overwhelmingly voted to make this law this past session did so with the understanding that this law applied to ALL FMP's past and present, and would apply to all future modifications to the plans as well. Since Flounder is the big money fish here in NC, the commercial seats and their hand-picked recreational seats on the MFC decided once again to ignore the state of the fishery, and make the rules so they could make money at the expense of the depleted resource.

This blatant disregard for both the law and our marine resources is unacceptable.