Date: Jan. 19, 2016
Contact: Patricia Smith
Meeting set to organize North Carolina Commercial Fishing Resource Fund procedures
MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Committee will meet with the North Carolina Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Funding Committee at 2 p.m. Thursday at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Headquarters Office, 3441 Arendell St., Morehead City.
This will be the first meeting of the two committees, charged with deciding how to spend money from a fund receiving partial proceeds from commercial fishing license sales. The committees are scheduled to begin developing a memorandum of understanding that establishes the procedures for agreeing to and authorizing disbursements from the fund.
In 2014, the N.C. General Assembly approved a fee increase for six commercial fishing licenses, which began this fiscal year. Under the new law, proceeds from the increased fees goes into a Commercial Fishing Resource Fund to pay for observer coverage to fulfill the state’s obligations under incidental take permits for the commercial fishing industry under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The Division of Marine Fisheries’ Observer Program collects at-sea information about commercial and recreational catches by observing fishing, either onboard fishermen’s vessels or from a division vessel operated near the fishing activity. Observer coverage is a requirement of the state’s Sea Turtle Incidental Take Permit and Atlantic Sturgeon Incidental Take Permit for the gill net fisheries. Without this coverage, the state’s gill net fisheries must close.
Any additional money from the fund is to be used for projects to develop and support sustainable commercial fishing in the state. Spending from the fund must be approved by the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Funding Committee, made up of six commercial fishing representatives.
The Marine Fisheries Commission voted in February to delegate the commission’s funding decisions to a Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Committee comprised of members of the commission holding the three commercial fishing seats.
The meeting is open to the public.
An agenda is attached.
For more information, contact Nancy Fish, in the Marine Fisheries Commission Office, at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.
|N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632 |