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Special Called Meeting on Flounder

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    Posted: 09 March 2021 at 12:00pm

You can make public comment ahead of the meeting. Get your voice on record.  Put  enough heat on the Governor's office (Stephen Bryant) and the final vote to pass FMP Amendment 3 may look nothing like the vote at the February meeting giving 70% of the quota to the commercial sector and 30% to the recreational sector.  Squeaky wheel gets the grease.  



Roy Cooper,

Governor                                  
                       

Dionne Delli-Gatti,

Secretary, DEQ 

       

 

John G. Batherson,

 Acting Division Director

Release: Immediate

Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: March 9, 2021
Phone: 252-726-7021
 

MEDIA ADVISORY: Marine Fisheries Commission to meet by web conference March 18

 

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet by web conference on March 18 beginning at 1 p.m.
 

The public may listen to the meeting by phone or listen and view presentations online.

For to the link and phone number to join the meeting go to the
Marine Fisheries Commission March 2021 Meeting webpage.

 

Members of the public may submit written comments to the commission in two ways:

  1. Online Comments – Public comments will be accepted until noon on Monday, March 15, through an online form available here.
  2. Mailed Comments – Written comments may be mailed to March 2021 Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting Comments, P.O Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557. Comments must be received by the division by noon on Monday, March 15.

 

Public comment will not be accepted during the meeting or through email.

 

Following the meeting, an audio recording will be posted online.

 

The commission is scheduled to review and vote on sending the draft Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Amendment 3 for public and advisory committee review later this spring.

The draft amendment includes options for commercial and recreational quotas, commercial trip limits, recreational bag limits, regulations on the recreational use of commercial gear to harvest flounder, separating southern flounder from other flounder species in recreational management, evaluating inlet corridors as a management tool, and evaluating recreational and commercial slot limits.

 

For a meeting agenda and other meeting materials, go to the Marine Fisheries Commission March 2021 Meeting webpage.




Edited by Rick - 09 March 2021 at 1:51pm
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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 Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2021 at 7:26am
Draft Amendment 3 can be found at the link below-

https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/March-2021-Southern-Flounder-FMP.pdf
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2021 at 8:51am
That comment link in the first post seems to be nonfunctional. Thanks Rick, for keeping us posted!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2021 at 9:36am


SC has a "different" twist to address the problem NC commercial fishermen are causing for SC's recreational anglers-

"For the privilege of recreational flounder fishing, a nonresident must purchase a seventy-two hour permit for one hundred dollars, two dollars of which the issuing sales vendor may retain."

A BILL

TO AMEND SECTION 50-9-540, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO RECREATIONAL FISHING LICENSES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A NONRESIDENT MUST PURCHASE A PERMIT FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF RECREATIONAL FLOUNDER FISHING.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Section 50-9-540 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding an appropriately lettered subsection to read:

"( ) For the privilege of recreational flounder fishing, a nonresident must purchase a seventy-two hour permit for one hundred dollars, two dollars of which the issuing sales vendor may retain."

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess124.../bills/182.htm


Lawmakers differ over best plan to restore flounder

By Charles Swenson|March 4, 2021

Two local lawmakers are taking different approaches, but they share the common goal of restoring the state’s troubled flounder fishery. And they have both rejected a call by the state wildlife agency to impose a season on the popular species.

A bill by state Rep. Lee Hewitt that would reduce the catch limit from 10 to five flounder and increase the size limit from 15 to 16 inches was approved by a House subcommittee this week. The bill now moves to the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs committee.

The bill also allows anglers to keep only one flounder larger than 20 inches. A female that size can lay a million eggs.

“That would help the fishery come back quicker,” Hewitt said. “I’m trying to get more eggs in the system.”

State Sen. Stephen Goldfinch plans to take a different approach in a bill he intends to file.

“My bill is going to end up increasing the cost of a fishing stamp by a few bucks,” he said. The money, which he estimated at $1.2 million annually, will be used to create a flounder fish hatchery.

Texas and Alabama have successful hatcheries, but only spend half that amount, Goldfinch said.

The legislature last changed the flounder regulations in 2017, dropping the catch limit from 20 to 10 fish and raising the catch size from 14 to 15 inches.

“They said that would improve recruitment by 30 percent,” Goldfinch said.

Instead, a recent report showed that flounder stocks are at historic lows. It was developed by North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

“It’s a regional fishery, you need a regional solution,” Phil Maier, deputy director for marine resources at the state Department of Natural Resources, told House members. “North Carolina took the lead in that.”

North Carolina accounts for 57 percent of the flounder caught. South Carolina accounts for 10 percent.

North Carolina closed its recreational flounder fishery and reduced its commercial fishery. There is no commercial flounder fishery in South Carolina.

DNR wanted to create a flounder season from June to November, Hewitt said.

“In Murrells Inlet, that is the only fishery we have in the spring,” he said. “That is something I could not live with.”

Hewitt also rejected a call from DNR for a two-flounder catch limit.

“That would punish the recreational fisherman,” he said.

Goldfinch also opposes a flounder season and the two-fish limit. He said the 16-inch size limit is still an option.

But he said the future of the fishery lies in North Carolina.

For some reason, South Carolina’s leading the charge to save flounder,” despite only having 10 percent of the catch, Goldfinch said. “North Carolina’s really the culprit here. They’ve had a commercial flounder fishery for 100 years.”

Maier told the House wildlife subcommittee that North Carolina is reducing its flounder take by 72 percent. Although the fish are caught inshore, they spawn offshore and eventually migrate southward, he said.

But Rep. Bill Hixon, who chairs the subcommittee, was troubled that the recreational closure in North Carolina is impacting South Carolina. “We know there’s people coming from North Carolina to catch our flounder and gig our flounder in abundance,” he said.

Hewitt agreed, but said the recreational fishery has too large an economic impact on places like Murrells Inlet to impose a closed season.

“You can image how mad our constituents are going to be,” Goldfinch said. “I’m not going to do what DNR wants to do. It doesn’t make sense.”

DNR is also cool to the idea of a flounder hatchery, Hewitt said. The agency said it’s labor intensive, and he is inclined to follow its advice.

But Hewitt said he doesn’t care whether it’s his bill or one filed by Goldfinch that passes, as long as a change in the law is enacted this year.

“If we don’t take some drastic steps, the fishery could ultimately be lost,” he said.


Edited by Rick - 12 March 2021 at 9:36am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bakesta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2021 at 12:46pm
Originally posted by Rick Rick wrote:




For some reason, South Carolina’s leading the charge to save flounder,” despite only having 10 percent of the catch, Goldfinch said. “North Carolina’s really the culprit here. They’ve had a commercial flounder fishery for 100 years.”


But Hewitt said he doesn’t care whether it’s his bill or one filed by Goldfinch that passes, as long as a change in the law is enacted this year.
“If we don’t take some drastic steps, the fishery could ultimately be lost,” he said.



Those 2 lines sum it all up.  NC commercial fishing has destroyed the flounder fishery for the whole region and SC is going to take action NOW.

NC will "study" it for another 5 or 10 years to make sure that the flounder fishery looks as dead as the fisheries for river herring, weakfish, etc before  declaring a plan.



"Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." --- Mark Twain
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