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(Update-Filed Aug 4) NCCFRG Files Notice of Intent

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    Posted: 18 May 2020 at 11:25am



NOTICE OF CLAIM(s)

The below Notice of Claim has been served to the following defendants:

• NC Department of Environmental Quality, Bill Lane, General Counsel

• NC Division of Marine Fisheries, Stephen W. Murphey, Director

• Trawler Christine Ann, Inc., G. Christopher Fulcher, President / Steven L. Weeks, Registered Agent

• Capt. Gaston, LLC, Jonathan Brent Fulcher, Managing Member and Registered Agent

Trawler Capt. Alfred, Inc, Carol G. Potter, President and Registered Agent

The Trawler Blackbeard, Lee Bland Williams, Owner and Registered Agent

Lady Samaira, Inc., Sammie E. Williams, President and Registered Agent

Ester Joy, Inc., Glenn B. Cooke, President












Edited by Rick - 05 August 2020 at 12:26pm
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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 themoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2020 at 11:29am
Hope it is effective

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote j.willis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2020 at 2:09pm
I wish them luck.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2020 at 8:55pm
What is the recommended ante
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Redfisher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2020 at 8:09am
Now we're talking.  Where do I send my money?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2020 at 8:55am
Originally posted by Redfisher Redfisher wrote:

Now we're talking.  Where do I send my money?
 

At this link http://www.nccfrg.org/  bottom of page-

Look for this-


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2020 at 9:00am

Hopefully DMF and DEQ will come to the table in good-faith to discuss time, season, area and gear restrictions. The most important thing they should address is proper and complete delineation of nursery areas and critical habitat areas of particular concern.

This is not about ending all trawling in NC waters. It is about protecting nursery areas from detrimental gear and practices- protection afforded by NC general statute for properly designated waters.

It is certainly possible that the big dealer/trawlers will take an all-or-nothing approach to inside waters. If they can't do it, no one can do it. The last thing the dealers want is a bunch of mom-n-pop trawlers pulling limited gear, in non-nursery areas, controlling the shrimp market. 

If the dealer's huge industrial trawlers get pushed to the ocean, they may try to get all trawlers pushed to the ocean so they can continue to control the market. The dealers depend on a "gut slot" opening of the season to crash the dockside price of shrimp. That can't happen if the smaller vessels work special secondary nursery areas during the summer.

Below are the vessels named in the lawsuit. These industrial trawlers have no business working the Pamlico Sound and Lower Neuse River.



Trawler Christine Ann, Inc., G. Christopher Fulcher, President / Steven L. Weeks, Registered Agent



Capt. Gaston, LLC, Jonathan Brent Fulcher, Managing Member and Registered Agent



Trawler Capt. Alfred, Inc, Carol G. Potter, President and Registered Agent



The Trawler Blackbeard, Lee Bland Williams, Owner and Registered Agent



Lady Samaira, Inc., Sammie E. Williams, President and Registered Agent



Ester Joy, Inc., Glenn B. Cooke, President










Edited by Rick - 19 May 2020 at 9:14am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2020 at 9:07am

Trawler Capt. Alfred, Inc, Carol G. Potter, President and Registered Agent    is the F/V Birdie P.

The video below taken by the captain of the vessel shows typical Pamlico Sound bycatch. 

This vessel is trawling in an extremely important undesignated nursery area- adding to nitrification that creates hypoxic conditions and resuspending sediment.

This is why we no longer have healthy stocks of croaker, spot, weakfish, bluecrab and flounders.  It is why landings of those stocks are at recent historical lows.  It has to stop. 

If you're so inclined, CFRG will need help funding this lawsuit in Federal court. Please consider contributing. Thanks







Edited by Rick - 19 May 2020 at 11:31am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kshivar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2020 at 10:23am
I would hope CCA, of which i am a life member, and NCWF (Also life member)will join this suit. DEQ, DMF have never negotiated in good faith and with fairness in mind when it comes to recreational fishing and the resource. They never will. Sometimes brute force is required and this is it I hope. I’m all in with $ support. Stand up on your hind legs and be somebody. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2020 at 11:48am
It's well documented- trawl bycatch is about 4 : 1.

Kevin Brown in his 2009/2010 bycatch characterization study in the Pamlico Sound found a 3.3 : 1 ratio of which croaker, spot and weakfish made up 80% of total bycatch. Croaker was 19.5 individual fish per pound of croaker bycatch, spot was 26.1 and weakfish was 27.4. The 2015, 2016 and 2017 industry sponsored bycatch reduction trials had a 3.6 : 1 bycatch ratio in the test nets...yes, the nets that had two BRDs and increased tail bag mesh size.

The table below shows average shrimp landings from the Pamlico Sound. This data came straight from DMF last week-




Simple math and extrapolation says-

Over the last ten years, 49,101,304 pounds of shrimp have been landed from the Pamlico Sound yielding an annual average of 4,910,130 pounds.

Average annual bycatch pounds at 3.5: 1 = 17,185,456 pounds.


Croaker-.....170,909,360 fish killed annually.
Spot-.....……. 87,465,378 fish killed annually.
Weakfish-.....46,146,386 fish killed annually.

The above data certainly supports what the ASMFC found in its 2017 croaker and spot stock assessments-







What does dumping 17-million pounds of bycatch do to a mostly enclosed shallow water lagoonal system in the summer and fall months of July-Oct? 

...a system with little tidal exchange or flushing except during extreme climatic events. 

What is the biological oxygen demand to decompose up to 28-million pounds rotting bycatch in a four month summer/fall period? 

At what level does this volume of organic solid waste contribute to nitrification? 

How does this volume of waste contribute to eutrophication and algal bloom development?  

What is the impact of resuspension of sediment?








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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mrbearhunt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2020 at 11:25am
Sending donation today.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marker39 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2020 at 5:48pm
The deny and deflect has already started. Now its tug boats that's the problem.


I wish the NC-CFRG all the luck in the world, and will donate to the cause.

But I hope they have some deep pockets in the background because they are going to need it.

Having said that, at least it has a far better shot at success than the incredibly corrupt "rule making process" and the "work within the DMF system"  method.

BW #2
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 June 2020 at 11:15am
tugboats?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marker39 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 June 2020 at 4:22pm

FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR- GLENN SKINNER

 

Earlier this week, the North Carolina Coastal Fisheries Reform Group made public their intent to sue the State of NC and six commercial fishing businesses for violations of the Clean Water Act. They claim discarding juvenile fish back into the waters from which they came and disturbing bottom sediments while shrimp trawling are violations of the Clean Water Act. 

 

 I’m no expert when it comes to the Clean Water Act, but I am well versed in the many activities that occur in our waters, and in my opinion most result in discarded fish, disturbing bottom sediments, or both.  I’m amazed that while many are discussing how this possible lawsuit will impact shrimp trawling, very few are questioning its impacts to other activities.

 

We’ve all seen a tugboat pushing barges down the intracoastal waterway turn miles of crystal-clear waters to

“chocolate milk” for hours until the suspended sediments settle back to the bottom.    Is this a violation of the Clean Water Act?    What about dredging, pleasure boating, passenger Ferries or marine construction?  They all have similar impacts.  How far could this go?  Recreational fishermen discard tens of millions of fish annually into N.C. waters with millions dying from post release mortality. Is this pollution?   If so, wouldn’t baiting a crab pot or chumming for cobia also be a violation of the Clean Water Act?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 June 2020 at 6:14pm
That is a stretch even for Glenn
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2020 at 10:27am
Wow not sure how I missed that when I read earlier.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2020 at 11:05am

FYI-  I'm working to correct the photo links above. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulg1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2020 at 3:26pm
$$$ on the way!   Clap
"I may be stupid but I'm ugly"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2020 at 11:06am
Lawsuit was filed yesterday at 5 pm. The pdf is available on the NCCFRG website.


It's asking for a federal judge to close all shrimping in NC waters out to three miles until trawl defendants are compliant with the Clean Water Act and compel NCDMF/DEQ to become compliant with enforcing the Act. It also asked the judge to consider a $25,000 fine per day per violation.

Today's News Release-



https://www.nccfrg.org/

Trawling Remedy

Unfortunately, as of Aug. 5, 2020, the trawling remedy is in the hands of a Federal court. Please visit our site often for updates. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram to remain informed. Please take a moment to view the clip below for more context.

Edited by Rick - 05 August 2020 at 4:59pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2020 at 12:32pm

The turbidity issues mentioned in the lawsuit bring this 2017 post to mind-




Originally posted by Rick Rick wrote:
























If a shrimp trawler was held to the same standard as a bulldozer in Raleigh, do you think they'd be allow to do what is shown in the photos above?



http://www.water.ncsu.edu/watershedss/info/turbid.html


https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/w...ater-standards






Dr. Jeff Buckel claims he understands-

"....analyses showed lower fish counts in areas with high levels of human alterations, notes Jeffrey Buckel of North Carolina State University, who serves as the Sea Grant advisor to the fellows."

http://ncseagrant.ncsu.edu/coastwatch/previous-issues/2010-2/spring-2010/coastal-habitat-protection-plan-preserving-critical-ecosystems/

The 2015 CHPP has some mighty lofty goals.  With current management at NCDMF, they'll never reach them.




So when is the NCDMF and the NCMFC going to do their job instead of spending taxpayer dollars writing about it and talking about it?

From Page 10



http://ncdenr.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/Environmental%20Management%20Commission/EMC%20Meetings/2016/March2016/Attachments/AttachB_16-13CHPP_10Mar16.pdf





Edited by Rick - 05 August 2020 at 2:38pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 August 2020 at 3:50pm
https://www.carolinasportsman.com/fi...rimp-trawling/

Fisheries group follows through on threat, sues to stop N.C. inshore shrimp trawling

Dan Kibler Inshore Fishing, Newsletters

NCCFRG said state hasn’t made any effort to restrict trawling activities that violate Clean Waters Act

Two months after warning the state of North Carolina that it planned to file suit, a conservation group punched the button on Aug. 5 in U.S. District Court.

The N.C. Coastal Fisheries Reform Group (NCCFRG) filed a federal suit charging that the defendants — the owners of a handful of large shrimp trawlers, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries — have been damaging or allowing the damage of state waters in violation of the federal Clean Waters Act, because shrimp-trawling operations in the state’s sounds and coastal rivers has resulted in the discard of millions of pounds of finfish caught incidentally in trawl nets.

“We didn’t want to end up in court, but we ran out of good-faith options. Two months ago we reached out to the state and to the industry,” said Joe Albea of Winterville, N.C., long-time host and producer of UNC-TV’s Carolina Outdoors Journal and one of five NCCFRG principals listed on the lawsuit. “This matter of industrial-sized shrimp trawlers going into our inshore waters and killing millions of finfish and tearing up the bottom has to stop.

Finfish dumping violates the Clean Water Act, says NCCFRG

“If the politicians won’t do the right thing and make common-sense regulations reform, it’s time for the Court to weigh in.”

NCCFRG filed a Notice of Intent to file suit in mid-May, giving the state and shrimpers 60 days to work out some kind of agreement that would address the group’s complaint. Albea said the matter was discussed by both plaintiffs and defendants, but defendants refused to give any ground, so the suit was filed in the Eastern District of U.S. District Court.

NCCFRG’s charges are three-fold: that large, shrimp-trawling operations violate the Clean Water Act by dumping millions of pounds of finfish caught in their nets into state waters and by the disturbance of sediments on the bottom of bodies of water, and that the NCDEQ and NCDMF are failing to uphold North Carolina’s Public Trust Doctrine by allowing, and even encouraging such activities. 







Edited by Rick - 05 August 2020 at 4:40pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mattrich21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 August 2020 at 1:46pm
What is the "net effect" on the NC shrimping industry if the federal court rules they have to dispose of their by-catch on land?  

They absolutely should by the way.  

Name ANY OTHER industry that is allowed to kill and then throw away a public resource in this manner.  




Edited by mattrich21 - 06 August 2020 at 1:47pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 August 2020 at 11:02am
I would guess that a net effect if they put bycatch in the holds would be less storage area for shrimp and the cost to haul off and dispose of bycatch. I would imagine that would mean increased cost for less product. Then it would be business decision of whether to continue to operate as they have, stop shrimping in areas of higher bycatch, stop shrimping,develop ways to further reduce bycatch or increase price per pound to reflect that price increase.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 August 2020 at 8:30pm
Todobien! That there was what I would refer to as a straight up championship winner-type of explanatory reply. But they could install Japanese electro toilets and let those trash fish vaporize to the tune of MUCHO voltage per "flush". Of course, the organic farming community would probably step in and help conserve those wayward trash fish by using them as nitrogenous biomass enhancer on their fields. I wonder the apetite for irony we'll have then.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marker39 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 August 2020 at 7:11pm
At least it doesn't go before Judge Doumar out of Norfolk.

If it did it would be over before it started, as so many times before with Jerry and his crowd.

Don't know anything about this judge.





Edited by marker39 - 12 August 2020 at 7:15pm
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