Thursday, November 8, 2012


     The Marine Fisheries Commission at their meeting today in Morehead City voted 8-1 to amend the Shrimp FMP.  The vote signalled a turnaround from the Division of Marine Fisheries' previous intent to only seek a revision of the shrimp FMP.
     The CFRG and other groups fought hard for an amendment to the FMP rather than a revision of it.  A simple revision would have meant the FMP would have stood for at least five more years.  The CFRG contended the FMP glossed over the by catch issue.
     The Commisioners voted to amend the plan and focus on the issue of by catch.  Director Louis Daniel of the DMF stated his agency's position to seek a revision had changed following public input requesting the amendment.  He urged the Commissioners to vote for an amendment.

Coastal Fisheries Reform Group Presents Proposal to Reduce Shrimp Trawl Bycatch

In order to protect our juvenile finfish stocks from excessive bycatch in shrimp trawls and to maintain our important shrimp fishing industry, the Coastal Fisheries Reform Group (CFRG)  presented a 5-point proposal to the MFC at today's meeting.
Every year, North Carolina shrimp trawlers kill hundreds of millions of juvenile fish as bycatch, which seriously damages our fish stocks. To reduce this bycatch, the CFRG is proposing new limits on trawl net size, shrimp size, tow times, and trawling near inlets, along with proper monitoring of fish populations to determine how these changes effect the stocks.

The changes proposed by CFRG are a serious compromise that will protect both the fish and local commercial shrimpers. It is expected that the Marine Fisheries Commission will make these changes before shrimp season starts in 2013 as they formulate an amendment for the shrimp management plan. To view the full CFRG proposal on trawling rule changes,see the following post CFRG 5-Point Proposal to Reduce Trawler By Catch