OPPOSING ANY CHANGE
IN THE DEFINITION OF A COMMERCIAL FISHING OPERATION
WHEREAS, commercial fishing is a vital part of North Carolina’s history, heritage, and culture and represents a crucial component of the economy for Dare County and other coastal communities; and
WHEREAS, according to the NC Division of Marine Fisheries, the sales impact of the harvesting and sale of commercial secl.food is $388,325,000 and the income impact of employed commercial fishermen is $166,066;000; and
WHEREAS, the definition of what constitutes commercial fishing in North Carolina has been determined by th-e General Assembly and has long been established in section 113-168 of North Carolina’s General Statutes; and
WHEREAS, the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) is now unde1taking an action to consider changes in the definition of a commercial :fisherman; and
WHEREAS, among the items that the MFC proposes to consider is a requirement that those holding Commercial Fishing licenses must have 50 percentoftheir earned income- from the Trip Ticket Program, genetate 36 Trip Tickets per year, and require those who do not have Trip
Tickets to show proof of $10,000 or more income per year; arid
WHEREAS, no other professional license issued by the State dictates a percentage of income or rhim.mumincome requ:irnment or level of participation in order to qualify; and ,
WHEREAS, the requirements that are being considered by MFC, or any other adverse change they may propose to the definition of Commercial Fishing, would have aha1mful effect on many
of the hard working North Carolinians who now engage in commercial ffshing and already suffer because of government ovenegulation that imposes severe quotas and unnecessary restrictions on fishing seasons, limits, and gear forcing many to talce on additional.jobs and engage in pait time businesses in order to responsibly support their families; and
WHEREAS, this latest attempt to redefine commercial fishing is not the first time that the Marine Fisheries Commission haslooked at this matter; and
WHEREAS, over seven years ago, in October of 2010, the Marine Fisheries Commission empaneled a Fishing License Review Taskforce, which examined in detail the requirements for hold.mg a commercial fishing license and concluded that the definition contained in the General
Statutes was adequate and therefore there was no real need to modify the definition of what constitutes a commercial fishe1man;. and
WHEREAS, furthermore, the Final Report from the Fishing License Review Taskforce clearly stated its recommendation that ”no changes are needed to the existing definition.”NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Craven County Board of Commissioners supports the definition of commercial fishing that has been determined by the duly elected members of the North Carolina General Assembly and reflected in the North Carolina General Statutes.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Craven County Board of Commissioners strongly opposes the unnecessary effort that is now underway by the Marine Fisheries Commission to reexamine the definition of commercial fishing, and urges all coastal communities to adopt similar resolutions, and encourages all residents to vigorously voice their concerns about the latest attempt by the Marine Fisheries Commission to once again redefine commercial fishing.
Adopted this the 5th day of February, 2018.
Thomas F. Mark, Chairman
Gwendolyn M. Bryant, Clerk to the Board