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A different view of the Posey appointment...

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Ray Brown View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 July 2019 at 12:06pm
Yes, he has been the name that advocates for no change in fishery reform have thrown around for several years, but does that alone mean his presence will doom fishery reform in NC?

Let me admit, before I go on, that the pushing by the NCFA and others does prejudice my opinion of someone I do not know.  That is a fact and I must admit that publicly.  But....

He is a scientist, a department head at UNC-W where his professional opinion is followed and peer reviewed almost daily.  He doesn't have the luxury of spouting wild speculation like we do.  He lives in a glass house so to speak.  He is responsible for fund raising for UNC-W-s marine science department so it is a political job to some degree, but that department has to yield results.

Let's face it....reform of fishery rules governing fin fish in NC is way down the political spectrum.  It just isn't politically sexy.  No one will stick their necks out for it politically except a very few.

But what is sexy in this arena?  Obviously it is oyster cultivation in NC at the moment.  Every politician in the state would like to be remembered as bringing the "oyster raising Napa Valley of America" to NC's waters.   Think about how much air time this has been given.

Guess what state employee oversees that focus?  You guessed it, Dr. Posey.   Suddenly, if you wanted to be objective, it makes absolute sense that he be on the regulatory commission that oversees the rules governing the future of this industry to make sure that commission has the best available science always at their finger tips.

Let's face it, mariculture is our future and wild caught foraging is our past.

So....we have the known authority, and by his own writings, along with Pete Peterson one of the strongest advocates for oyster farming in NC now sitting on the Commission.  I think that is good because I have always known that without truly farming the sea we will not have seafood for the masses.

He is the biggest advocate for mariculture we have ever had on the Commission.   The department he oversees is also vitally concerned with water quality from sediment to GENX and in many ways the place where the state turns to for answers.  That starts to tell me why any sitting governor would have to trust his opinion until proven otherwise.

Following this train of thought, I look beyond NC's borders and try to review the attitude of individuals in other states where oyster cultivation is already a big and profitable thing.   What becomes obvious is that water quality is keen to those involved and they fight for it daily and they push back on any thing, including wild caught fishing practices, that threatens water quality from chemical introduction to re-suspending sediments into the water column that could resettle on oyster beds and suffocate them.

So, if I lay down the prejudices of the past and look at where Dr. Posey is, the position he holds, his history of advocacy for a new marine industry in NC then I have pause in my initial concern.

Is he willing to accept we reformers help in bringing his new industry along as an alternative future to wild caught fisheries or will he fight us in pushing this new industry into the waters as an addition to what we do now?

In other states where oysters, and not shrimp, are king, the shrimpers have been subordinated and gill nets are gone.

Perhaps the NCFA sees the future and is pushing his nomination so that when mariculture turns the corner in NC it will begin as an "addition" to wild caught and not as an alternative.

There are too many "oyster bars" popping up in NC based on the future of cultivated oysters going forward.   The more that open and the more money that is made will yield more people who absolutely will object to anything that threatens water quality and their profits.

Otter trawls and oyster beds, suspended or otherwise, are not compatible in proximity.  How do I know?  I sat through a meeting put forth by the DMF where Press Pate oversaw the meeting as Jess Hawkins gave the presentation.  It showed DMF findings where otter trawl re suspended sediments was the cause of SAV and shell fish beds demise.

To conclude, for the state that wants to be the "Napa Valley of Oysters" it makes absolute sense that the number one oyster guy be on the regulatory board as this concept gets wings.  Makes absolute sense.

It's coming, so that train has left.  What is left to answer is whether it comes as a new, independent, and growing industry or whether it comes in some way to prop up a dying industry.  

My guess is that many of Dr. Posey's early supporters are hoping to bring the new industry as part of the old one, and not change anything in the old one.

Personally, I think the days of shrimp being king are gone in NC if this is done right, and can be replaced with oysters as king in such a way that finfish as well as those that target them find huge benefits as the transition occurs.

I wish to thank an unnamed scientist for asking me to think things through as we look to the future.

What we need is the legislature to define what the new NC waterfront is going to look like and how this new industry should fit in.   Without their guidance we are left to everyone involved having their own definition and I can only think how ugly that will be.

I do know this.....ABC oyster company with nice profits will lash out at otter trawls coming by more than any of us ever have.  Because then....its all about the money!


Edited by Ray Brown - 30 July 2019 at 3:00pm
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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hghcpa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hghcpa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2019 at 1:42pm
nice post Ray

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2019 at 1:53pm
In a month we might have a clearer picture
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Glacierbaze Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2019 at 2:15pm
"There are too many "oyster bars" popping up in NC based on the future of cultivated oysters going forward."

I hereby claim all rights to the name, "Starshucks".
"You can never elevate your own character by stepping on someone else's."

"Never argue with a man who loves the sound of his own voice."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2019 at 2:23pm
I too have thought it was too early to "judge" him. He does bring a more scientific base to the MFC and I imagine he will use that in making decisions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2019 at 5:00pm
Other Profs at UNCW have been working on flounder issues for some time so he should be familiar with the issue.
https://uncw.edu/research/news/un-dated/fredscharfandresponsiblefishharvesting.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2019 at 8:36pm
I will trade oyster mariculture any day for oyster dredging on wild stocks.

If Posey were to take a stance to phasing out oyster dredging and replacement with mariculture, then many of us would be eating crow.

Such physical threats to habitat have been expounded in the CHPP for more than a decade and yet ignored.
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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