Dare looks to restart Working Watermen Commission

Published 8:21 am Friday, September 7, 2018

On Tuesday, Dare County’s commissioners took steps to restart the county’s Working Watermen Commission.

Commissioner Steve House made the proposal to reinstate the commission, originally created by board resolution on May 19, 2008. The commission’s last meeting was December 2012.

The idea to restart the commission came from Hatteras Islander Susan West in public comment on Aug. 20.

As outlined by House, the commission protects and enhances the commercial fishing industry in Dare County and monitors and advises commissioners regarding pending laws, rules, regulations, fishery management plans and coastal habitat plans, as they relate to commercial fishing in Dare County.

The original commission was composed of working watermen from various types of fisheries including charter, ocean drop net, trawl boat, gill net and crabber and net. A commissioner was appointed to serve.

In re-introducing the commission, House asked that a fish house dealer be appointed also.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Robert L. Woodard appointed House to the commission.

House indicated he would call an organizing meeting and report the board at its next meeting, Sept. 17.

In another water-related matter, Dare County will assist the Town of Manteo with a dredging project.

County Manager Robert L. Outten told the commissioners that the $1.95 million dredging project for the Manteo channel is fully funded but a reimbursable outlay. Dare County has the available cash and expertise to handle the project.

The board approved the “good neighbor” move and authorized the county manager and finance director to proceed.