Dare’s commissioners to MFC: Come meet here

Published 1:57 pm Monday, February 19, 2024

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Dare County Board of Commissioners has invited the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission to meet in Dare County for at least one of its quarterly meetings.

Commissioner Steve House introduced the unanimously adopted resolution.

According to the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, “Dare County has the highest seafood volume and value of any North Carolina county,” reports the resolution.

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Yet the commission has not met in Dare County since November 2018.

The commission’s operating procedures dictate that the commission must meet at least quarterly “except that at least three of the four quarterly meetings shall be held in one of the coastal regions …”

House reported that one of the meetings is held in Raleigh. In 2024, Marine Fisheries Commission meetings are set for New Bern, Beaufort, Raleigh and Emerald Isle. The locations make it difficult for watermen from Dare County and northeastern North Carolina to participate in public hearings and meetings.

House reported that the commission’s Northern Regional Advisory Committee had also adopted the resolution.

In a second fisheries-related resolution, the commissioners expressed strong opposition to the Striped Mullet Fisheries Management Plan Draft Amendment 2

“I was alarmed,” said House. The amendment uses data from 2019. No data was collected in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions and modified work schedules.

“The data is three to four years old,” said House. Striped mullet mature in two years. “The data is woefully incorrect,” he said.

The resolution also states that “the study for the recreational fishery is vastly incomplete and only accounts for approximately 2 percent of the fishery take;”

The resolution asks that “this amendment be placed under further review due to outdated and unreliable data.”

The adopted resolution will be sent to the Marine Fisheries Commission and state representatives.