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    Posted: 07 February 2018 at 7:14pm
The 2015 DMF survey linked below has been discussed here in the past.  It found that a significant number of SCFL/RSCFL holders who never reported landings under the mandatory trip ticket program were actively fishing with commercial gear and/or harvesting commercial limits.


SURVEY OF COMMERCIAL FISHING LICENSE HOLDERS FOR PERSONAL CONSUMPTION OF SEAFOOD CAUGHT WITH COMMERCIAL GEAR-  John Hadley, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries License and Statistics Section Morehead City, NC.  May 2015


Y'all help me understand these two statements from Division staff.

From the survey linked above-
DISCUSSION- The results of this survey provide information from commercial fishing license holders that is often not collected on trip tickets or in other sampling programs. Results indicate some interesting differences between commercial fishing license holders that did and did not report commercial landings of seafood. The sample size of this survey is statistically valid to represent the total population of commercial fishing license holders in 2014 at a 95 percent confidence level and a ±5 percent sampling error. This survey was randomly administered and the percent of respondents that had commercial landings (40%) in 2014 compared to those that did not (60%) matches up well with the ratio of total licenses with selling privileges used (42%) with those that were not used (58%) in fiscal year 2014

Included in the briefing book for next week's MFC meeting from a January 31, 2018 MEMORANDUM to the Marine Fisheries Commission from Stephanie McInerny in the Division's License and Statistics Section-

In 2015, the License and Statistics Section sent out a five-question pilot survey to a subsample of individuals holding either a Standard Commercial Fishing License, Retired Standard Commercial Fishing License, or Shellfish License to gather information on catch kept by these license holders for personal use (i.e., unsold). This was a very simplistic pilot survey to gauge if more effort was needed to investigate the extent of unsold catch and was not meant to be used to quantify the amount of seafood kept for personal use. The results of that study should not be used for management purposes, nor carry any weight when evaluating current license use characteristics. A more detailed survey could be designed and administered if more accurate information on the use of commercial fishing licenses for reasons other than selling their catch is desired. 



 
 


Edited by Rick - 07 February 2018 at 7:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bread Man 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2018 at 7:33pm
Senior staff roadblocks....at every single turn. We are we going to clean house up there?????
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marker39 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2018 at 8:22pm
We have always been indoctrinated that the commercial landing data was the best in the land because of the trip ticket.

NCFA has always spouted the inaccuracies of rec data vs comm.

However, when caught in a lie the top of the DMF leadership will go to all lengths to "explain".

Ray Brown will remember the Brunswick County red drum commercial landings 'discrepancy"  involving a former MFC commisioner that I speak of.

Take all data from the DMF with a serious grain of salt.

And remember where former DMF employees go to work.

:-)

BW # 2


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jtoler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2018 at 8:33am
This was a very simplistic pilot survey to gauge if more effort was needed to investigate the extent of unsold catch and was not meant to be used to quantify the amount of seafood kept for personal use. The results of that study should not be used for management purposes, nor carry any weight when evaluating current license use characteristics. A more detailed survey could be designed and administered if more accurate information on the use of commercial fishing licenses for reasons other than selling their catch is desired. 

First, it is referred to as both a "survey" and a "study". In my opinion, a survey is not the same thing as a study. Then, it is confirmed that there is suspicion regarding 'unsold catch", which would indicate that perhaps a significant amount of the resource is being taken by licensed commercial fishermen, who then never complete a trip ticket. Knowing what the results will indicate, they then say that the information shouldn't be used for management purposes. They did however, indicate that the results could be used for investigative purposes into the fact that the commercial trip ticket numbers would significantly change if commercial catches of the resource were required to be sold. It is yet another validation that the DMF knows exactly what is happening in the commercial fishing industry but, does not want the responsibility of participating in regulation or enforcement. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2018 at 10:33am

With the recent MFC appointments and the open door policy that key staff for Governor Cooper have shown in discussing fisheries issues, it appears that the paradigm has started a real shift to sustainable fisheries management...action by the MFC and DMF will certainly confirm that thought. Wink

The two statements above just confused me.  One seems to say that the survey accurately reflects +/-5% of 95% of all holders of an SCFL/RSCFL and the other seems to say the opposite, at least that's how I interpret the statement that the survey shouldn't be used for management purposes.

There's good info in the survey.  Clearly there is harvest taking place using commercial gear and/or harvesting commercial limits without being reported on trip tickets.  That's a concern.  With 40% of licenses reporting zero landings on trip tickets, it is potentially a huge concern- a problem that directly affects stock assessments and observation compliance with the ITPs.

To say that info shouldn't be considered when evaluating current license use characteristics seems to somewhat unfairly tie the hands of the Commission who will be discussing these issues next week.

The Division is being consistent in its view that the survey has problems.

You might find the minutes of The Standard Commercial Fishing License Criteria Committee meeting on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 at the Crystal Coast Civic Center interesting. The minutes start on page-141
 

Sasser referenced a pilot study the division had done on personal consumption and latent licenses, but it was pointed out there were flaws with the pilot study and it could not be used for quantitative purposes.

When reading those minutes you'll also see that the Division is concerned about loss of funding should unused licenses and those of unqualified holders revert to the pool.

Deputy Director Lupton publically stated that licensing rules had to be revenue neutral or they would significantly affect Division funding. 

I can understand that concern and several options to increase revenue were suggested, including increasing CRFL fees to match fees the WRC charges for Inland Fishing Licenses.  That alone would increase DMF license revenue by almost $1-million.

Also noted in the minutes was Lupton's specific comments addressing statutory authority for Transfers.  Missing from the minutes was a discussion on the fact that 70% to 80% of all transfers are exceptions to statute and based on a Division policy interpretation of the "intent" of statute.

DISCUSSION OF STANDARD COMMERCIAL FISHING LICENSE CRITERIA, ISSUES AND CONSIDERATIONS 
Wicker asked if the 72.8 percent of transfers that Sasser referenced were all Craig’s List-type of transactions.  Division Deputy Director Lupton explained there were three categories for transfers:
1) Retirement – the term “retirement” is not defined.
2) Death – when a license holder dies, the license is transferred to the executor of the estate and then can be transferred to immediate family or it can eventually go to a third party.
3) Sale of a vessel – the Standard Commercial Fishing License is separate from the Commercial Fishing Vessel Registration, but it can be transferred with the vessel.

Transfer exceptions appears to be area that the Commission has direct authority to control without waiting on legislative approval.

§ 113-168.2. Standard Commercial Fishing License.

(g) Transfer. – A SCFL may be transferred only by the Division. A SCFL may be transferred pursuant to rules adopted by the Commission or upon the request of:

(1) A licensee, from the licensee to a member of the licensee's immediate family who is eligible to hold a SCFL under this Article.

(2) The administrator or executor of the estate of a deceased licensee, to the administrator or executor of the estate if a surviving member of the deceased licensee's immediate family is eligible to hold a SCFL under this Article. The administrator or executor must request a transfer under this subdivision within six months after the administrator or executor qualifies under Chapter 28A of the General Statutes. An administrator or executor who holds a SCFL under this subdivision may, for the benefit of the estate of the deceased licensee:

a. Engage in a commercial fishing operation under the SCFL if the administrator or executor is eligible to hold a SCFL under this Article.
b. Assign the SCFL as provided in subsection (f) of this section.
c. Renew the SCFL as provided in G.S. 113-168.1.

(3) An administrator or executor to whom a SCFL was transferred pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, to a surviving member of the deceased licensee's immediate family who is eligible to hold a SCFL under this Article.

(4) The surviving member of the deceased licensee's immediate family to whom a SCFL was transferred pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection, to a third-party purchaser of the deceased licensee's fishing vessel.

(5) A licensee who is retiring from commercial fishing, to a third-party purchaser of the licensee's fishing vessel.


The Division acknowledges that 70% to 80% of all SCFL transfers are an "exception" to rule.  Those exceptions are based on the Division's interpretation of statutory intent.

 

GS 113-168.2 does not give the Division authority to make exceptions.  Authority to establish transfer rule is vested with the Commission.


I cannot find any existing public record where a Commission voted to allow these transfer exceptions...third party sales on Craigslist that do not meet the criteria set in 1-5 above.


Even if a past Commission did authorize these exceptions, the current Commission has authority to change the rules.





Edited by Rick - 09 February 2018 at 10:15am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bakesta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2018 at 11:14am
This should be extremely embarrassing to the new director.

(please note the use of the word "should")Wink




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2018 at 11:36am
Bobby....if you and I were called before the legislature, and asked to tell what we had seen in this area in our lives the room would go silent.

The silence would be because few of them would believe what we were saying.   Reality of fishery management in NC is, and has been, at a level where fiction writers often would not go.

Let's take one example. Southern Flounder.

The first southern flounder FMP was finished and put in place in 2006. When it was put in place the MFC at that time stated via the chairman that they knew it was not projecting recovery but they were passing it anyway in hopes the science was wrong.

It wasn't.

When the second Southern Flounder FMP came along, it too did not project recovery as FRA '97 states it must, but the MFC again, at the strong suggestion of the DMF, to once again let a plan go forth that did not project recovery because of something in the law that they claimed would ultimately solve the problem.

You see, FRA '97 clearly says that any species that is being overfished 10 years after the FMP goes into effect must be dealt with and the MFC is directed, by the law, to stop overfishing ASAP. The law does not specifically say what the MFC can do, not does it preclude them from doing anything by specifics. So if the legal minds that said the law did not specifically prohibit the legislative member of the ASMFC from NC to appoint a proctor because it did not specifically point it out then certainly no one will legally raise an objection to what the MFC may want done since the law that says they must stop overfishing does not specifically tell them what they can not do to achieve that.

Somehow I think interpretations will be different, don't you?

The law also says that the mandatory 10 year rule can't be applied if is shown that the condition of the stock is unknown, or if it is shown that the stock can not be placed in a non overfished category for biological or environmental reasons. Who decides that? It is the sole call of the DMF Director.

In 2016, two years ago, the 10 years was up. Certainly you remember that time. For nearly 20 years NC had been doing stock assessments on southern flounder, and each time it showed the stocks were overfished and NC recorded it accordingly. But just as the mandatory reductions were to take place, suddenly the assessments were no longer valid. Even though in 2001 members of the southern flounder AC were told that some of the fish that grow up in NC move south to other states as they get older, it suddenly became important in 2016 and the sudden desire to know the condition in all those other states was invoked by the then director and mandatory cuts were avoided until such time as a multi state assessment was completed.

To the MFC's credit, in 2016 they attempted by a supplement to begin stopping overfishing, but the NCFA sued. The judge stayed the request for a short period of time before it went to court. When it got before a judge, the NCFA then whipped out photos of more than 5 members of the MFC meeting with the director in his office. At the conclusion of a public meeting the director had asked them to come to his office to quickly discuss another matter. That instance violates the open meetings law and the NCFA was now willing to sue over that as well as stopping the attempt to rebuild the flounder base.

At some point the attorney for the state explained to the three members of the MFC who were in the deliberation that the state would provide defense for them on the flounder issue, but if they insisted on pushing the issue forward and go to trial then the NCFA would file suit against them as individuals for violating the statue on open meetings rules and the state would not provide for their defense. Two former members of the MFC at that time chose to settle to avoid personal lawsuits and expense all because they were invited to a quick gathering by the director after a published meeting. I mean, can you blame them? The state first asks them to serve, then the Director invites them to his office for a quick chat, that violates a law, and then the state says..."you are on your own, sorry!" For obvious reasons I would probably have done the same, but the state put them in that position and then when push came to shove it would not defend them.

So southern flounder mandatory reform was stopped first by a change in how we used assessments, and then a second time by the state saying they would not provide defense for MFC members who attended a meeting called by a state employee.   

I need to remind everyone who reads this of an important note. Other than not knowing the condition of the stock the only other reason that mandatory reform can not take place is if the Director feels that due to biological or environmental reasons the species can not ever recover from overfishing.

Since FRA began, the DMF has never hinted, said, or stated that southern flounder overfishing could not be stopped for those reasons. Never, ever, nada!

So now we are beyond 10 years of the first FMP being in place, a multi state assessment of the stock is finished. The stock is overfished and overfishing is continuing and the assessment notes the largest harvester of the species is the commercial industry within NC waters.

Will the DMF find a way, as they have in the past to avoid the mandatory recovery by somehow finding a flaw in the new assessment that has been peer reviewed? Will the new Director follow the intent of the law?

I don't know.

All I know is that last Friday, DMF staff, the Director, and the attorney for the MFC had a conference call to make sure the rules would cover them on what they wanted to do.

Read the Director's report before you go to the meeting. Especially if you think they are finally going to rebuild southern flounder.

A good friend once told me after his multi year observations that the DMF was not regulating fisheries in NC, they were in fact using their knowledge of the regulations to enable whatever harvesters wanted year after year as the stocks continued to decline.

The classical scenario of regulatory capture.

So Bobby, you know this is but one story out of many that you and I have seen.

Until NC citizens demand the resource be managed for viability then such stories will be the norm and the condition of stocks in NC will be someone else's problem.

At the same time, MFC member terms are short ones in reality. If a MFC member ever wants to make a difference they need to do it as early in their term as they can, because before you know it someone chided you to kick an issue down the road until the day you realize the can is no longer on your watch and you wind up doing no more for the resource than the last person who held your seat.

Let's see who brings mandatory reform to southern flounder, or collectively let's identify who finds the rule to stop it yet again.







Edited by Ray Brown - 08 February 2018 at 12:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marker39 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2018 at 7:36pm
Very nice Ray.

You always put a lot of thought into your words.

Yes, you and I could tell the legislators some stories that would bring silence to the room.

However, would the silence be because of concern or indifference?

I would hope it would be the former. 

And I have always believed legislation is the only way forward.

After decades of fighting, we are getting a little long in the tooth Ray.

I sincerely hope more of the younger folks will pick up their  pace of involvement.

Otherwise, they and their children will continue to experience the ever declining 'new normal" of inshore fishing in NC.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2018 at 9:25pm
I have been fortunate to see some of the best of it. Children saw some but tail end. I don't think grandkids will know what it could be. Once those memories don't exist they will not know what to fight for.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2018 at 8:54am
I think the best thing we can all do at this point is sit back and see if the new Director and Commissioners will follow the law, the appropriate processes and use the science. I feel that I owe them the chance to do that before I blast them. If the Director wants to change the course of the ship it's not going to be a quick change. The wind has blown for many years from the same direction.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2018 at 9:11am
I agree. But it won't take long at this next meeting to identify who wishes to uphold the spirit of the law within FRA '97 and who, with all this data on hand, will start looking for reasons, or point out obscure rules that will push steps to stop overfishing back to the next meeting, or six months, or two years, and then suddenly five years have passed once again. In other words, who will be looking to avoid the law, and who will be running to embrace it?

We don't have to point them out by name. You are right, we just have to pay attention, and their actions will call their names.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ryan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2018 at 9:41am
If unreported commercial take is the problem, why not suggest that any fish taken commercially for personal consumption must fall under the recreational limit for that species.  What is wrong with someone keeping 4 flounder from a commercial trip and selling the remainder?  Why go after all the commercial license holders instead of the few?  This could easily be added to trip tickets and show how many fish are being kept.  If caught with over the 4 flounder for personal consumption, then use enforcement to fine the fisherman instead of added regulations.  The repeat offenders would be easily identifiable by LEO and those licenses could be forfeited.  This would eliminate the "bad apples" and allow the legal and lawful commercial fisherman to fish.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2018 at 9:55am
Originally posted by ryan ryan wrote:

This could easily be added to trip tickets

LOL  You have a great idea, but obviously haven't sat through meetings discussing changes to trip tickets.  Commission Wicker tried to get a line added for personal consumption a couple of years ago.  What I heard in the meeting that I sat in where this was discussed was that the program was already undergoing an upgrade, it was too late to make that change and the change would have to wait on the next upgrade.  Maybe the change happened, but I doubt it. 


Edited by Rick - 09 February 2018 at 10:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2018 at 10:57am
Again it may take more than 1 meeting for the ship to change. Some signs have been shown re: the interest of the Gov and Dept. I would imagine that if they don't see the ship going how they want it to go after the meeting they'll offer some course suggestion. I don't imagine them sitting in the meeting making corrections there. Some of you asked for patience in naming Commissioners so the time for patience may not have ended yet.

NCFA and others are in attack mode due to the decisions the Gov made. Its not the time to attack too when you were given what they perceive as a gift or you'll seem like an ungrateful kid.

Edited by todobien - 09 February 2018 at 11:00am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2018 at 11:20am
Ungrateful kid?

Have you not read the NCFA's Tradewinds recently?

They call bycatch basically a tooth fairy and say that most bycatch is because of fishing regulations.   What rules, other than ones that allow it, cause the 4 to 1 bycatch ratio involved in shrimping in NC's sounds?

I will note that it does include an article on southern flounder and it too concludes that southern flounder are overfished.   It offers no remedy and does not remind the reader that such a conclusion under FRA '97 means the state must move to stop overfishing within two years. That means having it stopped in two years, not beginning to do it in two years.

This is now 18 years of knowing that southern flounder are overfished. The first person who taught me that southern flounder were overfished was Jess Hawkins, the author of this article. So his assessment has not changed in 18 years even if his employment has changed from the state of NC to occasional consulting roles for the NCFA. What are we waiting for in terms of stopping overfishing?

Wait, read his article again. Within it he pushes for a new standard in assessments, a bar so high that most can not be reached, and with the amount of research necessary to do it as he suggests he knows the DMF doesn't have the money to do that. So is this is a new ploy.....to set a standard so high that it can not be afforded so all the conversation turns to how are we going to do that procedure while overfishing continues?

It isn't a new system of deferring, it is a new topic to discuss.

Todobien.....it will take a long time to correct this. But it will take a first step, and that is what I keep pointing out. Who at the next meeting will take that first step? Who will refuse and try to find a way to avoid it?

BW#2, Rick, TomW, jtoler, Bakesta, and countless others on here have seen this play out time after time.

Now is the time...to call those who don't step forward to adhere to the spirit of FRA '97 out.....by name.

I hope all the new players acknowledge the law and move to uphold its spirit, but it is important that we pay close attention so we can identify who have their own agenda beyond the law. But one thing I do guarantee; both the governor's office and the legislature will have eyes and ears in the room and they will grade the players politically.

And therein...is the age old problem. Fishery management is not consistent in NC because the primary motivator is politics and not science and far too many times, not the spirit of FRA '97 that begins and ends with keeping our stocks viable.

Edited by Ray Brown - 09 February 2018 at 11:48am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2018 at 12:29pm
I like to think of this as the second step. The first step was the choice of commissioners and finally putting someone into the Director's seat so that they could put their time and energy into it vs splitting between two divisions. Some of the names I heard tossed about for Director would have likely been bad. Just keep in mind that the second step taken may not be as big as many would like so the important thing will be to make sure it is at least not backwards from that first step. If folks from the Gov office are sitting in the meeting that is a bit of a step too.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2018 at 12:01pm
The status of SF, and shrimp bycatch constitute public resource emergencies, period. If the governor hasn't the weight to step in and stop the current ravages(1), and use his bully pulpit to EDUCATE the masses of Carolinians who might GAS(2), if they were smart enough, then "we've done give it away" and all we're watching is theater of the absurd. The stranglehold of Jerry and the Canadians should be trumpeted loud across this bleeding state, let the public opinion be unleashed upon them. Use some state money to enable DEQ to disseminate information to the populace. We need neither DMF, nor MFC to concern themselves with anything that they've proven to be ballyhoo-weak about, and providing info to citizens is something they really don't do, anyway, unless in service to their masters, Schill and company. They have protected the carnage, and made way too many shoddy deals to ever trust them, IMO. The executive branch has all the imprimatur to mount a campaign to save resources when that becomes necessary to rescue wild animal (fish in this case) populations, enlisting public support along the way. Well, the emergency has existed for two decades and gangrene has set in for flounder and the bycatch three. Hell, I say the executive could stop the what should be illegal takeover of the estuary by Cooke, who certainly will ruin our beautiful sound vistas and access by their water column holdings, which are as so many resource rape-gardens in our future. What kind of damnable nitwit system allows a foreign entity to invade its estuary while failing to address existing environmental emergencies as SF and bycatch. This double , triple, and on up the numbers fisting of this resource needs executive proclamations and publicity, tout suite. BTW, all the support for "aquaculture" in the open waters of the sound are as so much help for the resource ravagers, and have NO PLACE where such huge glaring emergencies like SF and shrimp bycatch prevail. make them develop their own damned ponds lakes, or impoundments if they want to produce product, period. Every production facility should be on private land, at the expense of the operator, who must also provide nutrient removing facilities to exclude their polluting wastes from the estuary, as well. Then there is no reason for them to worry about public intrusion on their fief. Leave the water column to those to whom it belongs- The citizens(not Canadian), and the fish themselves. Do an end run around the GA/MFC complex and take it to the people, while under emergency order of the executive. If NORTH CAROLINIANS want to grow oysters, let them hang them from their docks, not destroy public access for profit. Governor, DEQ, have you got your ears on?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ryan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2018 at 1:36pm
Originally posted by cnaff cnaff wrote:

The status of SF, and shrimp bycatch constitute public resource emergencies, period. If the governor hasn't the weight to step in and stop the current ravages(1), and use his bully pulpit to EDUCATE the masses of Carolinians who might GAS(2), if they were smart enough, then "we've done give it away" and all we're watching is theater of the absurd. The stranglehold of Jerry and the Canadians should be trumpeted loud across this bleeding state, let the public opinion be unleashed upon them. Use some state money to enable DEQ to disseminate information to the populace. We need neither DMF, nor MFC to concern themselves with anything that they've proven to be ballyhoo-weak about, and providing info to citizens is something they really don't do, anyway, unless in service to their masters, Schill and company. They have protected the carnage, and made way too many shoddy deals to ever trust them, IMO. The executive branch has all the imprimatur to mount a campaign to save resources when that becomes necessary to rescue wild animal (fish in this case) populations, enlisting public support along the way. Well, the emergency has existed for two decades and gangrene has set in for flounder and the bycatch three. Hell, I say the executive could stop the what should be illegal takeover of the estuary by Cooke, who certainly will ruin our beautiful sound vistas and access by their water column holdings, which are as so many resource rape-gardens in our future. What kind of damnable nitwit system allows a foreign entity to invade its estuary while failing to address existing environmental emergencies as SF and bycatch. This double , triple, and on up the numbers fisting of this resource needs executive proclamations and publicity, tout suite. BTW, all the support for "aquaculture" in the open waters of the sound are as so much help for the resource ravagers, and have NO PLACE where such huge glaring emergencies like SF and shrimp bycatch prevail. make them develop their own damned ponds lakes, or impoundments if they want to produce product, period. Every production facility should be on private land, at the expense of the operator, who must also provide nutrient removing facilities to exclude their polluting wastes from the estuary, as well. Then there is no reason for them to worry about public intrusion on their fief. Leave the water column to those to whom it belongs- The citizens(not Canadian), and the fish themselves. Do an end run around the GA/MFC complex and take it to the people, while under emergency order of the executive. If NORTH CAROLINIANS want to grow oysters, let them hang them from their docks, not destroy public access for profit. Governor, DEQ, have you got your ears on?


So now it is aquaculture that you are against too?  The shellfish leases up and down the coast have had a tremendous effect of cleaning up the waters they are in.  SC is a prime example of it, look at the Edisto area and see how much better the water quality is there now.  I wish that Brunswick Co would get on board and allow it too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bread Man 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2018 at 5:01pm
Shellfish leases are not aquaculture for starters.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2018 at 5:14pm
shellfish leases can be a good thing. i think what many are concerned about is the increase in size of leases that the legislature approved last year. See sect c of this - https://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2017/Bills/Senate/PDF/S410v3.pdf. That could have a big impact on other uses of areas to rec and comm fishermen alike as well to boaters and other water users. Just like any farmer, folks are going to want to lease places where there farm will be productive. My understanding is that some potential use conflicts are developing in Dare Co with some of the lease applications that may be coming.

cnaff - We've been letting foreign entities invade our estuaries for years - Potash Company of Saskatewan and their predecessor Texas Gulf have been eating up wetlands and pumping out fresh water into the Pam River. Heck they even own the river bottom to its midpoint there which I can't think of anywhere else in NC that occurs until you get upper piedmont out of naivigable waters.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ryan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2018 at 7:13pm
Originally posted by Bread Man 1 Bread Man 1 wrote:

Shellfish leases are not aquaculture for starters.


How is that?  The oyster spat brought in is not indigenous species(mostly triploid).  The definition of oyster farming is an aquaculture(or mariculture) practice in which oysters are raised for human consumption.   Thst is what is done on many of the leases but not all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bread Man 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2018 at 7:51pm
I don't consider it aquaculture when it is in public bottoms and public waters. Aquaculture is raising fish in tanks, lakes etc etc..we have leases here in my area that literally have not been worked in years. No spat is brought in, nothing. I don't understand why the state allows them to stay private as requirements are not met.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bread Man 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2018 at 7:55pm
I have no issues with leases, only the water column BS.. Public access should not be taken away solely to benefit an individual's income. It ain't right.

A good place to start is to force leasee's to work current leases the way they were intended, or take them away. Not approve more. Just another dirty deal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2018 at 8:10pm
Ryan... I think on Monday night that WRAL piece is going to reveal once again how different NC is yet again on marine resources.

It is less than 24 hours so let's see what they found.

For an industry that has been screaming for seafood labeling in NC, why is it suddenly afraid of exactly that?

I expect WRAL to accurately portray what they found.
Shrimp trawling never stops in Pamlico Sound. It just pauses on the weekend so crabs can remove the dead and dying from the battlefield.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2018 at 8:43pm
What time and name

Edited by TomM - 11 February 2018 at 8:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2018 at 9:53pm
During the 6 pm news tomorrow on WRAL. They are running promos and the person being interviewed does say in the promo that the oysters are not being made in the sounds, but rather the lab. Interested to see the public reaction.
Shrimp trawling never stops in Pamlico Sound. It just pauses on the weekend so crabs can remove the dead and dying from the battlefield.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ryan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2018 at 9:43am
The spat used is triploid(xtra chromosome), which is so that they do not reproduce (sterile) with the local oyster.  This is so that the local oyster stock is not effected from another species.  By the oysters not putting their energy into reproduction, it allows them to grow larger quicker.  Many of the single selects that are served at restaurants are these types.  It also allows them to be harvested in the summer when local natural oysters cannot be, because the triploid are more resistant to disease.  Wheat, fruits, and vegetables have been genetically modified for years like this to produce a strain that can grow quicker and larger.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bread Man 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2018 at 10:14am
Ryan if you have a gsrden, local oysters can be harvested 365 days a year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2018 at 11:09am
Ryan....I understand what is going on, but don't tell me about "sterilization". The people who provide the spat will tell you quite honestly that between 90 and 100% of the total batch are sterile. The same thing they told my neighborhood about grass carp when we introduced them to clean up filamentous algae from the lakes. Those 10%'ers are powerful; they bred.

But if you really want to have some fun let's talk about the law and oysters in NC. The law was changed last year to aid the oyster industry. One of the supposed safety factors was the implementation of the rule that said oyster spat could only be imported from Virginia or SC, and no where else.

Why? Supposedly because they test oysters before they are sent out.   But in typical form it seems that some oysters coming from Virginia are really from Washington state which is a variety of the Pacific or Asian oyster that caused our die offs in 2002-6 when they were transplanted here.

Technically they are "shipped" from Virginia before coming here which conforms with NC law, but there is a strong current of understanding going on right now that when the agency in Virginia, that is in charge of testing these oysters only checks for disease within them....it doesn't check for species.

Again, I'm all for the positive things about oysters and aquaculture that you mention. However, NC's history of fishery management by legislative micro management keeps me leery of things being as they are. Why was the law changed last year just in time for Cooke Aquaculture to show up in NC?

I don't think WRAL's piece is going to do much more that show that NC's oyster future is based on a GMO. They are aware of what happened with Asian oysters in NC during the early 2000's and are still reviewing what is being seeded in NC now, but doubt any of that comes up tonight.

In 2009 the state of Virginia banned Asian oysters from Chesapeake Bay.

They do have oyster research facilities they fund through VIMS.   (Virginia Institute of Marine Science) Early in the 2000's the state of Virginia gave the oyster industry three years to prove that Asian oysters did no harm in order to be permitted.

If you want to really enjoy a good story, find out how that experiment to prove something for the state of Virginia, was done in Masonboro Sound, NC!

All the oysters died in that test including most of the native oysters surrounding that experiment from a virus NC said they didn't know existed in our waters. That sounds good until you back up and realize those native oysters that weren't dying before the Asian's showed up suddenly died too. A layman would say that virus was not in the water, but rode in with the new oysters.

NO....I don't like the for profit industry writing fishery laws in NC to govern themselves (shall we call it the Murphy affect), or legislators who write laws for industry during the last few days of their term. They have nothing politically to lose by being loose with facts.

More on this later today, or this week as more information comes from someone involved at the moment.

Edited by Ray Brown - 12 February 2018 at 11:13am
Shrimp trawling never stops in Pamlico Sound. It just pauses on the weekend so crabs can remove the dead and dying from the battlefield.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2018 at 12:09pm
Yep, Ryan, I'm against privatization of estuary bottom and water column because they remove several beneficial public resource facets from our access as holders of those resources. I would oppose taking the essential nature of the sound and rivers as water wilderness, and establishing exclusive private compounds which occlude my access and enjoyment of both the wild nature of the system, and the resources within it. Inasmuch as we are dependent on the state to uphold the concept of private property for us to consider ourselves in possession of the most basic element of freedom, then why wouldn't we require the state to protect us from the aggression of fellow citizens who would monopolize those places long recognized as held for the enjoyment of us all? I generally agree with bread man's concept here, as apparently he holds a "small time waterman's" view, which is rather consistent with us all having access to this beautiful water world, while placing responsibility on us all to sustain it. Private efforts to increase shellfish success within this system is welcome, as long as the resulting habitat and productivity are not placed off limits to those who follow the rules of the public resource. Also, no problem with private docks, wharves, etc. which might hold bags or substrate to carry clams, oysters etc. as these can readily accommodate the sacrosanct nature of private property, while benefitting the overall public nature of the estuary. In short, as in football and religion and a bunch of other things, it's the big money that ruins everything. If it's your property, however, you should be free to do what you want unless you aggress (taking or damaging) upon the property of others, privately or publicly held. Cooke, et all, represent aggression in contravention of this principle, and the state has apparently agreed with cooke's position. I am therefore afraid when state promises are not kept.
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