MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries would like to clarify that a draft revision to a N.C. Shrimp Fishery Management plan does not recommend a ban on shrimp trawling in state waters.
The draft revision, which is out for public comment, does not recommend any changes in management of the shrimp fishery at this time. It does recommend continuing research on the shrimp trawl fishery.
The division is holding several meetings in the coming weeks to take public comments on this draft revision. At the first of these meetings, held Wednesday in Wilmington, many fishermen stated they had misunderstood the purpose of the meeting.
The division is required by law to review each fishery management plan every five years and determine if changes in rules or management strategies are needed. If changes in management strategies or rules are needed, the division pursues a plan amendment, where division staff and an advisory committee develop positions on specific issues that need to be addressed. If no changes in management strategies are required, the division proceeds with a revision, which is a more abbreviated process that involves updating data and fishery information contained in the plan.
After initial review, the division determined that no rules or management changes were needed at this time in the shrimp fishery and began pursuing a revision. However, the Marine Fisheries Commission received public comments at its August meeting from a recreational fishing group that announced it was beginning a campaign to ban shrimp trawling in state waters.
After receiving public comments and a review by the advisory committees, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will decide at its November meeting whether to proceed with the revision or switch to an amendment process to explore changes in management strategies.
The remaining three meetings will be held in conjunction with Marine Fisheries Commission advisory committee meetings at the following dates and locations:
Northern Advisory Committee
Sept. 27 at 4 p.m.
Vernon G. James Research & Extension Center
207 Research Station Road, Plymouth
6 p.m., Oct. 2
Craven County Cooperative Extension Office
300 Industrial Drive, New Bern
Habitat and Water Quality
1:30 p.m. Oct. 2
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Washington Regional Office
943 Washington Square Mall, Washington
For more information, contact Nancy Fish in the Marine Fisheries Commission office at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.