MOREHEAD CITY - The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet June 21 to decide whether to grantor deny consideration of arequest for declaratory ruling regarding a proclamation related to menhaden fishing.
The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, 203 South Front St., New Bern.
Omega Protein, a menhaden processing company in Reedville, Va., filed the request, which challenges the validity of a proclamation prohibiting the use of purse seines deployed from a mother ship for the harvest of menhaden in state waters. The commission voted for this management measure at its May meeting, and N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director Louis Daniel implemented the regulation by proclamation.
A purse seine is a type of net that is used to encircle a school of fish then trap the fish when it is closed with a line passing through rings, like the drawstring of a money purse.
The division received the petition May 31 and the commission is required by law to grant or deny consideration of the request within 30 days. Should the commission choose to grant consideration of the petition, attorneys will present their arguments at a later date.
The request for declaratory ruling and the meeting agenda are posted on the division website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/june-2012-mfc-business-meeting.
Also on the agenda are votes to reauthorize rule suspensions for the purse seine closure and other regulations. These votes must occur at every commission meeting to continue any regulation that the division director has implemented by issuing a proclamation that temporarily suspends a rule.
The meeting is open to the public; however, no public comment period is scheduled.
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