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Public Comment at MFC Meeting

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j.willis View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 May 2018 at 8:54pm
Here's a public comment which was given during the MFC today from Jan Willis:

At the last MFC meeting, the issue of raising the cost of a coastal recreational fishing license was mentioned. Please do not recommend an increase until DMF stops misusing the CRFL monies we provide them.

Since 2009, DMF has directed the spending of more than 56 million in CRFL money toward projects, studies and personnel. Unfortunately, not all spending has been for the benefit of the recreational angler.  

Under the CRFL Grants Program, which funds a variety of projects and studies, you find examples of spending either unrelated to recreational fishing or at an unfair share to recreational anglers.

Some of those include

1.     $50,000 to study bycatch hot spots of turtles and sturgeon in gill nets and the effects of gillnet closures due to federal ITP’s.

 

2.     $132,000 to hire and train observers in the large mesh gill net fishery for CSMA stripers and to collect bycatch data from those gill nets.

 

3.     Six studies on Southern flounder have been funded with more than $1.1 million dollars of CRFL funds. Although recreational anglers only account for about 15% of the total Southern flounder harvest, no funds from the commercial fishing industry helped pay for to these studies.


 From 2012 to 2017, DMF used 11 million dollars to fund 31 staff positions. Every cost imaginable to support those staff was covered, and then some. Under the current Five Year Plans for funding personnel, DMF is now directing more than 14 million in CRFL money for 36 staff positions through year 2022.

 

Another example of questionable spending with CRFL funds is two of those positions fall under the Division of Coastal Management, not DMF. The responsibility of those two staff is to provide comment on coastal development, permit applications.  That cost alone is $768,000.

 

Other examples can be found in your handout.

 

Our fish stocks continue to decline or show no improvement as recreational fishing renders disappointing results.

 

Before raising our license fees, please secure a better return on the millions of dollars we’ve paid in, because giving us only 4 viable species out of 22 should not earn DMF a bonus.

 


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Ray Brown View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2018 at 9:21pm
Excellent points that every rec license holder in the state should know.

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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Rick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2018 at 9:39pm
Thank you Jan for sharing that great research. Please send it to Deputy Sec. Nicholson and the Governor's office also.

As we saw at today's meeting during the discussion on transfers and assignments, funding the Divisin trumps everything else- statute, rule, sustainability and just good ol' common sense.
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NC Fisheries Management- Motto: Too Little, Too Late, Too Bad   Slogan: Shrimp On! Mission Statement: Enable Commercial Fishing At Any and All Cost, Regardless of Impact to the Resource.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Redfisher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2018 at 7:52am
Thank you Jan.
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kshivar View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kshivar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2018 at 9:15am
Amen. Well researched, well said and hopefully someone will listen. Thanks.
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