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So...Who is trying to take shrimp off your plate?

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    Posted: 02 January 2019 at 10:28am
“Other markets have restricted imports of shrimp because of repeated findings of banned antibiotics — and even forced labor — in shrimp aquaculture,” John Williams, executive director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, said in a statement. “The United States remains the largest and most open market, so low-quality shrimp products that are rejected from the European Union, Japan and other major shrimp markets are likely sent here for whatever low price they can get.”

So if the Southern Shrimp Alliance and Jerry Schill ( NC Fisheries Association ) gets their way, imports would be limited.

Where will America get it's shrimp if imports are limited?

At present, the latest information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates American shrimp consumption is at the highest levels ever, and the most-consumed seafood in the country, at 4.4 pounds of shrimp eaten, on average, per person per year.

And while more than 90 percent of the shrimp consumed in the United States comes from overseas, there are efforts to change that pattern.

Shrimping season closes after record year

 

The end of the year also means the end of the current Georgia shrimping season, which is legally required to shut down at 6 p.m. Monday — that covers the traditional three miles from shore covered by state regulations.

According to the state Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division, activity has to cease on trawling, cast-netting and seining, and other food-shrimp harvesting efforts. However, “anglers and commercial bait-shrimp dealers may continue to harvest shrimp to use as bait.”

In the past, there have been times when the season extended into January, but data analyzed by DNR staff and opinions expressed by the Shrimp Advisory Panel led to the conclusion there’s not enough abundance of shrimp in the water to justify an extended season.

“Generally speaking, CRD will recommend allowing the season to close as scheduled when the shrimp become smaller, and the weather gets colder,” Carolyn Belcher, chief of the CRD Marine Fisheries Section, said in a statement. “Given the poor catches recently observed, CRD staff decided it would not be in the ecosystem’s best interest to extend the season.”

While the shrimping industry continues to change and evolve along the Georgia coast, it remains an economic driver. At present, the latest information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates American shrimp consumption is at the highest levels ever, and the most-consumed seafood in the country, at 4.4 pounds of shrimp eaten, on average, per person per year.

And while more than 90 percent of the shrimp consumed in the United States comes from overseas, there are efforts to change that pattern.

“Other markets have restricted imports of shrimp because of repeated findings of banned antibiotics — and even forced labor — in shrimp aquaculture,” John Williams, executive director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, said in a statement. “The United States remains the largest and most open market, so low-quality shrimp products that are rejected from the European Union, Japan and other major shrimp markets are likely sent here for whatever low price they can get.”

But for locally caught shrimp, there is some good news — the latest numbers from NOAA show that for last year, shrimp landings in the South Atlantic states hit $71.4 million, which is the largest number in nearly 20 years.

Shrimping typically reopens in Georgia waters in mid-June.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2019 at 1:55pm
This should surprise no one.  The shrimp industry in America has lead the way in fighting imports and aquaculture, even in the US, more than any other entity.

The first thing you do if you are ruthless in business is destroy your competition.   If you can't destroy it you then move to discrediting them using any excuse you can.   It is up to you to decide if the fish mongers of America are ruthless when it comes to competition.

Well.....maybe that is a self fulfilling question.   Connell Purvis who ovesaw the DMF for years in NC admitted in front of 900 witnesses that he made sure the shrimp industry got priority over every other fishery in NC waters for years.   He didn't hint at it, he said it point blank.  He even answered a direct question saying the shrimp industry was given latitude to remain number one in profits.  Thus if you prioritize to the point of lessening others using the same or similar resource then that's not exactly the definition of a fair and equitable business practice.

But then again, is a public resource to be awarded to a commercial enterprise when the harvest rights of an individual citizen of that area are reduced to cover the commercial take?   A quick review of individual citizen harvest rights in states that don't allow priority to estuarine net based commercial fisheries clearly show that citizens of other states are allowed more of their public trust resources than in NC.  That is up to you to tell legislators if that is fair in your opinion or not.

Then there is the religious element that defenders of status quo always seem to forget.  They are quick to point out the story of Jesus and net fishermen, but conveniently overlook God's hierarchy where man was made last to act as steward of all things made before him/her.  In essence they are saying that overfishing is ok as long as the nets remain in the water.   They are, at best, convenient stewards of the resource.   When the Bible demands that we are stewards, and never once says we should profit from commercial harvest of natural resources then are they really just convenient Christians when it gets right down to it?

A many fish gave up his life for penance on a Friday when red meat was discouraged by the Catholic Church who began the religion we Protestants took and reformed.  But even the Catholics have evolved as fish supplies have diminished.  As a good Catholic, Jerry Schill should know this.  It seems farm raised beef, lamb, goat, etc is now AOK on Friday and you don't need to bow down to Fulton Fish market having the local Priest beating down your door to conform to the "One True Church" and threaten you with Hell or Purgatory for a rib eye sandwich on Friday.

Traditionally members of the Roman Catholic faith abstained from eating red meat on Fridays as part of a penance to mark the day of Christ's death. But in 1984 the rules were relaxed allowing Catholics to choose a different form of penance, such as offering up extra prayers or attending Mass.

Stewards or profiteers of God's creations?   Above my pay grade, but some day we will answer to the proper Authority.


Edited by Ray Brown - 02 January 2019 at 2:03pm
I am a native of NC. The "bycatch captial of the east coast of the US". Our legislature lets us kill more fish for no reason than any other Atlantic Coast state. I hope they are proud.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Glacierbaze Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2019 at 3:05pm
If you eat imported shrimp, chances are very,very high that forced child labor, and/or outright slavery was involved in either the catch, the processing, or both.  If dolphins could change the tuna industry, you would think that slavery could change the shrimp industry.
IIRC, it was a boycott of the canned tuna giants that brought about 'dolpuin safe tuna'. But then again, if we boycott imported shrimp, we are just going to have to choose another protein, bc the domestic shrimp won't support current demand, and would soon be wiped out.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&ei=8gotXKTvFcmk_Qb777eQBg&q=slavery+in+imported+shrimp&oq=slavery+in+imported+shrimp&gs_l=psy-ab.3..33i22i29i30.1713.12869..15068...1.0..0.190.2130.26j1......0....1..gws-wiz.......0j0i71j0i131j0i67j0i131i67j0i22i30j0i22i10i30j33i160j33i299.E8QffsUOXNw



Edited by Glacierbaze - 02 January 2019 at 3:12pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2019 at 4:39pm
If each NC citizen eats 4.4 pounds of shrimp each year thats about a 44 million pound demand for the 10 million NC residents  The NC shrimp harvest is a small fraction of that, on good years maybe 25%, on bad years 5%.  If all of the shrimp harvest stays in NC of course, which it doesn't.

So if all the shrimp caught in NC stayed in NC, and we ONLY ate NC caught shrimp, each persons share would be between about a half pound and pound per year, depending on harvest.   

Please tell me which NC state-regulated marine resource that can meet NC demands.  Perhaps blue crab?  It certainly isn't shrimp, Southern flounder, speckled trout, red drum, or striped bass.  Whelk?  I guess I am reaching here.  I got it sand fleas!  Oops, not regulated.

As Ray has often reminded us, foraging just cannot supply the needed protein for our population.

Happy New Year everybody.  Something good IS going to happen for the resource this year.  When the crack in the door opens we all need to push hard.


Edited by chriselk - 02 January 2019 at 4:40pm
The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2019 at 5:42pm
…not only do we give the shrimp industry an economic advantage over all other fisheries, we give them a pass on environmental regulation that allows a vessel to be a point-source discharge for 10,000s of pounds of bycatch that contributes to nutrient loading of the Pamlico Sound estuary.  


The Southern Shrimp Alliance has been deeply engaged in protecting shrimp vessel owners throughout the Gulf and South Atlantic region from the onerous and expensive requirements of an EPA permit under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) literally ever since a 2005 federal court decision imposed those requirements on commercial fishing vessels for the first time under the Clean Water Act.
 
In collaboration with commercial fishing and charterboat groups across the nation, SSA has played a leading role in securing a series of temporary legislative exemptions that have prevented the EPA from implementing that court decision on U.S. commercial fishing vessels. 

According to SSA Executive Director John Williams:

 “These EPA permit requirements to regulate 27 ‘discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel’, including deckwash and fish hold effluent, would be catastrophic for the U.S. shrimp fishery. While many in the US commercial fishing industry probably long ago forgot about this ongoing regulatory threat, SSA has been working continuously with Congress to ensure that those regulations never went into effect for our fishery.”

Last night, the House of Representatives passed legislation that will make permanent that exemption for all U.S. commercial fishing vessels including shrimpers. The legislation, the U.S. Coast Guard reauthorization bill, which includes the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), was passed by the Senate last week by a strong margin of 94-6 after a complex multi-Committee negotiation on a range of maritime and environmental issues.   The legislation will now be sent to the President for enactment into law.

“This is a big deal. It’s a major win for the shrimp fishery and we’re proud to have done our part to protect all U.S. commercial fisheries. But the truth is, we have so many to thank in Congress for their tireless efforts on our behalf over so many years including virtually all of the Senators and Representatives with a shrimp industry constituency. There are far too many to list, but the ones that finally got this across the goal line were the leadership, Members and especially the hard-working staff of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.” added Williams.

Background
Absent enactment of this legislation, shrimp fishing vessels and all other US commercial fishing vessels would have been subject to the onerous requirements of either the EPA’s Vessel General Permit (VGP) for vessels greater than 79 feet in length, or the similar “small Vessel General Permit” (sVGP) for vessels less than 79 feet in length. EPA estimated that between 118,000 and 138,000 vessels could be subject to the sVGP’s requirements, of which nearly 60,000 are commercial fishing vessels less than 79 feet. The total estimate for all affected commercial fishing vessels of any size exceeds 81,000.
 
The VGP regulations have been in place for commercial non-fishing vessels larger than 79 feet since 2009. Without this permanent statutory exemption and the previous temporary legislative exemptions, these regulations would apply to commercial fishing vessels larger than 79 feet requirements for 27 types of vessel discharges that include such routine discharges as deckwash, fish hold effluent and greywater. In addition, the EPA finalized a separate set of regulations for sVGPs for smaller commercial fishing vessels in anticipation of the expiration of the temporary exemptions. Some elements of these regulations are simply incomprehensible when considered in the context of the wide range of sizes, types and operations of US fishing vessels. (see EPA VGP / sVGP Regulations  http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/vessels/vgpermit.cfm )

Compliance with these requirements by fishing vessels –if even possible –would be extremely costly and financial penalties for non-compliance are severe. Individual vessel owners would also be vulnerable to citizen lawsuits filed by hostile ENGOs.

The present situation grew out of a 2005 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that affirmed a 2005 District Court decision that the EPA had exceeded its regulatory authority 32 years earlier when it determined the requirements of its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) under the Clean Water Act should not apply to vessels.
 
Instead, during those 32 years, the regulation and enforcement of pollutant discharges (including invasive species) from vessels was administered by the US Coast Guard pursuant to a series of federal statutes including the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships in 1980, the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 and the National Invasive Species Act of 1996, among others. 
 
Since the 2005 Court ruling, however, both the Coast Guard and the EPA were required to administer separate and inconsistent sets of regulations which include a requirement for the EPA to issue permits for tens of thousands of commercial vessels –something that far exceeds the agency’s capacity and budget. 
 
The Court’s decision to apply the NPDES program to vessels also opened the door for each of the States to independently establish a patchwork of inconsistent vessel discharge standards and requirements for vessels transiting their waters. At least twenty-five States have imposed such regulations. Implementation of this conflicting and confusing regime has become an administrative nightmare for the federal agencies involved, and presents owners of the more than 100,000 commercial vessels that operate in US waters with and impossible compliance and liability regime.
 
SSA worked extensively along with other fishing and maritime groups to secure the original legislative moratorium in 2008, and its extensions in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2017.  In addition to exempting fishing vessels from the EPA requirements, the 2008 legislation also mandated a study to evaluate what if any threat discharges incidental to the normal operation of fishing vessels present to water quality. SSA worked with the shrimp industry and the EPA and Coast Guard to secure the voluntary participation of six Gulf shrimp vessels in this study.  In their report to Congress, EPA effectively concluded that this threat was minimal under normal open water operating conditions
 
Specifically, the report concluded:  “EPA determined that the incidental discharges from study vessels to a relatively large water body are not likely to solely cause an exceedance of any NRWQC.” (NRWQA = National Recommended Water Quality Criteria under the Clean Water Act).  (EPA report: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/vessels/reportcongress.cfm )
 
SSA is very grateful to the owners of those shrimp vessels for their willingness to work with Federal officials to document this reality. This has made a substantial contribution to our success in the legislative process.  
 
Finally, it should be noted that in 2008, Congress also passed the Clean Boating Act (PL 110-288) which provided a permanent exemption for all 13 million US recreational vessels from the requirement to obtain an NPDES permit for their incidental discharges, and directed the EPA and the Coast Guard to develop uniform national regulations for such discharges.  This is precisely the same treatment the U.S. commercial fishing industry had sought ever since.



Edited by Rick - 02 January 2019 at 5:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2019 at 9:05pm
“Other markets have restricted imports of shrimp because of repeated findings of banned antibiotics — and even forced labor — in shrimp aquaculture,” John Williams, executive director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, said in a statement. “The United States remains the largest and most open market, so low-quality shrimp products that are rejected from the European Union, Japan and other major shrimp markets are likely sent here for whatever low price they can get.”

Although Smithfield does not use "banned" antibiotics in their pork, they use them.

https://www.smithfieldfoods.com/responsible-operations/animal-care

If imported shrimp are so toxic due to the use of banned antibiotics, why are not Americans, whose shrimp consumption is overwhelmingly imported, not getting ill?  Indeed, we hear little to nothing about imported seafood causing illness in the US; we hear more about US seafood causing illness though.  We hear a lot about vegetables causing illness, just think about Romain lettuce recently.

Many believe that we do need better inspection of all food, whether imported or domestic, but that costs money.  The American pocket book has spoken, imported shrimp is king, whether farmed or wild caught.  As stated in an earlier post, America cannot forage enough shrimp (or fish) for American demands.


Edited by chriselk - 03 January 2019 at 9:15pm
The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 23Mako Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2019 at 7:52am
Slander in the purest form. Those boys stick to their talking points like politicians. 

Don't the commercial folks also point to pollution and runoff as the main problems affecting our fisheries and not the rape and pillage of the estuaries? If the water is so full of this mess, then how do they justify harvesting/selling seafood from it?


Edited by 23Mako - 04 January 2019 at 7:54am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2019 at 11:21am
Originally posted by 23Mako 23Mako wrote:

Don't the commercial folks also point to pollution and runoff as the main problems affecting our fisheries and not the rape and pillage of the estuaries? If the water is so full of this mess, then how do they justify harvesting/selling seafood from it?
 

Many of you will recognize Jess Hawkins as the paid anti environmental gun for the NC Fisheries Association.  Jess is the NCFA's hired environmental gun paid to Deny and Deflect by placing the blame elsewhere when unsustainable fisheries is the problem.

Jess is a retired former Deputy Director of NCDMF.  Jess teaches "marine science" at one of the Carteret County based university satellite colleges.

What is almost a parody (tragedy in reality) is that Jess makes part of his living running "ecotours"-



Upon graduation, Capt. Hawkins began a 30 year career as a marine biologist with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. He studied the ecology of many sea creatures and recommended conservation measures to protect those animals.

 

For his efforts in conservation Capt. Hawkins was presented the North Carolina Governor's Award for Wildlife Conservationist of the Year in 1994. He also received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award in 2006, which is the highest civilian award for public service presented by North Carolina's Governor. In 2016, he will be awarded the Stewards of the Future Award, sponsored by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, and organized by members of the scientific research community in Carteret County, including NC State University Center for Marine Sciences and Technology, UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, Duke University Marine Laboratory, & NOAA Center for Coastal Fisheries + Habitat Research.


Below is an N&O op-ed written during the Southern Flounder Supplement process.  This ballyhoo was written by Jess, co-authored with Allyn Powell (Bradley Styron's hand selected "scientist" on the MFC)-


What we know

We do know a lot, though, because the state has collected extensive data on flounder for over 35 years. The rate fishermen are removing flounder from the population (fishing mortality) has decreased or leveled off since 2007 (though flounder was overfished then). Sizes of flounder in commercial catches have remained unchanged for over 20 years, indicating that the population is replenishing itself. There have been high proportions of immature fish in catches since 1991, but there has been little change in those percentages, indicating the population is sustaining itself.

Surveys tracking the abundance of young flounder in North Carolina show no declining trends for over 25 years; in fact, some exhibit upward trends in numbers. Surveys in South Carolina and Georgia show declines, but their surveys are not nearly the magnitude of North Carolina’s. We have known for over 20 years that some flounder migrate to the ocean to spawn, where they escape intense fishing pressure.

Commercial fishing effort for gill nets and pound nets has been substantially reduced. The state issued almost 1,000 pound nets permits in 1994; today, only 280 permits exist. Since 2010, lengths of gill nets used to catch flounder have been reduced by 33 percent, and fishing times have been reduced 50 percent. Extensive flounder gill net fishing areas have been closed due to interactions with protected sea turtles. Southern flounder harvest was reduced by 39 percent from 2011 to 2014.

No recommendations offered

The General Assembly, with the Fishery Reform Act of 1997, revamped fisheries governance, creating a fishery management plan and amendment process to bring science and other facts forward. In 2010 the General Assembly added another FMP process called a “supplement” that was supposed to deal with one management issue, not involve advisers and be used only if the long-term viability of the fishery was at risk. The MFC recently chose to pursue this “supplement” process instead of a FMP amendment for Southern flounder. Without any science to guide what options could sustain the fishery, the MFC arbitrarily picked measures it felt targeted 25-65 percent reductions in catch for the “supplement.”

Some claim that a 40 percent harvest reduction is needed to avoid a collapse of the stock, but there is no science to support that. Some of the “supplement” options include banning flounder gill nets, lengthening the current closed season and other measures that will have harsh economic effects. Perhaps most disturbing is that the MFC has yet to receive any recommendations on the options from the Division of Marine Fisheries, professional experts who are supposed to guide the MFC on scientific and economic/social facts.

We urge our state’s decision-makers to use the truth and not rhetoric to determine the right thing to do with regards to flounder stewardship. North Carolina and our wonderful resources deserve no less.

Jess Hawkins is a retired state fisheries biologist. Allyn Powell is a retired federal fisheries biologist. Former Marine Fisheries Commission members Edward Mann, a Coast Guard retiree and recreational fisherman; Rusty Russ, a recreational fisherman; and Barbara Garrity-Blake, a cultural anthropologist, also contributed.


Jess Hawkins was nothing but Denial and Deflection asking for Delay.

We know the real story after 29+ years of delay-  

Let's examine some of Jess's statements above, you decide- ignorance or just pure Deflection supporting Delaying sustainable fisheries management actions.

http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?p_l_id=1169848&folderId=32426618&name=DLFE-139475.pdf

Sizes of flounder in commercial catches have remained unchanged for over 20 years, indicating that the population is replenishing itself. Jess Hawkins




Surveys tracking the abundance of young flounder in North Carolina show no declining trends for over 25 years. Jess Hawkins



The rate fishermen are removing flounder from the population (fishing mortality) has decreased or leveled off since 2007 (though flounder was overfished then). Jess Hawkins


Here is Jess's latest attempt at Deflection setting up the case for further Delay-

http://issuu.com/nccoast/docs/tradewinds_dec_18_jan_19_for_web?fbclid=IwAR08dOCQNvJ-1M5qzG-9YCNMON6JaII5t41kQpVGzXW6-KuMjPhoJAZ_sFg



Read more here: https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article45527925.html#storylink=cpy




Edited by Rick - 04 January 2019 at 12:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2019 at 1:36pm
What is sort of surprising is the continued truncation of the size/age stock in the face of increasing gill net mesh sizes.  One might expect the reverse if other factors were not also contributing to the decline.

It's also strange that when the S flounder reach harvestable age, the "poor water quality" wipes them out.  However, other fish, fish without a price on their head, swimming in the same waters seem immune to that bad water.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2019 at 9:58pm
That's because flounder lay on the bottom where the bad water is and don't have sense to move
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2019 at 10:07am
Originally posted by todobien todobien wrote:

That's because flounder lay on the bottom where the bad water is and don't have sense to move

I am pretty sure that comment is a pun.
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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: 05 January 2019 at 8:14pm
Chris mesh size don't matter in the shallow water flounder fishery. Been screaming that for years. They work as an entanglement net, not a gill net.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 January 2019 at 12:19am
Yes it was but I could envision that being a response
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2019 at 12:35pm
From last night's AC meeting...maybe Jess Hawkins and Allyn Powell can write a rebuttal-

Below is the flounder data from last night's AC meeting-

THE PROBLEM



THE SOLUTIONS










DO NOTHING and FLOUNDER DISAPPEAR IN ABOUT TWENTY YEARS




DO SOMETHING TO MEET STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS




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