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Don't blink

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bakesta View Drop Down

Joined: 24 January 2005
Location: United States
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    Posted: 31 August 2021 at 1:31pm
Don't blink -- recreational founder season is coming.

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

Joined: 16 July 2003
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 September 2021 at 8:17am

At last week's August MFC Business Meeting, we heard several public comments from both the recreational and commercial sectors asking the division and MFC to put in a multiyear moratorium versus what we currently have.

There is a general public perception that a two to three year closure to "rebuild" the stock is feasible.  From the conversations that I've had, we would be looking at five to six years, maybe seven, for a moratorium- a rebuilding period followed by the stock assessment process. 

It's a mess.  We can thank the NC Fisheries Association for the problem.  

Members/Leaders of the NCFA controlled the MFC for years through the influence of Marc Basnight.  The MFC refused to address the declining flounder stock on multiple occasions.  Regulatory capture of the DMF by the NCFA prevent implementation of failsafe measures.  With the stock both overfished with overfishing occurring, DMF could have recommended proper management measures that would have required a super majority of the commission to override.  DMF did not.  In 2015, DMF said a 40% reduction was needed to rebuild the stock.  The NCFA sued to stop additional management measures.  The MFC capitulated and settled the lawsuit.  Management measures were delayed five years and now require a 72% reduction.

The NC "unsustainable" Fisheries Association (NCuFA) is to blame.  They are the sole reason for the current flounder regulations.  It was never about the resource or the fishermen.  It was about the dealer's ability to buy cheap flounder in volume to wholesale and retail for personal profit.

...and it worked for a long time.

Southern flounder closed, no problem for the dealers.

The dealer's big trawlers are dragging the waters off New Bedford right now bringing home 15,000 pounds of summer flounder per trip- maybe double those pounds if the dealer holds both NC and Virginia permits. 


Edited by Rick - 01 September 2021 at 9:10am
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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