What is a “Commercial Fisherman?”  

WATCHDOG REPORT
One would think a commercial fisherman is someone who goes out in a boat with the intent to catch enough fish to earn a profit by selling them to people who would like to eat them, or by selling them at wholesale prices to a “fish house” which would then sell them to the folks to eat, right?
Well, not so fast! Apparently, bureaucrats (you know, those unelected bossy folks who think they know better than everyone else) working for the North Carolina government need a much finer definition of what constitutes a “commercial fisherman” in order to properly over-regulate them.
Defining the term “Commercial Fisherman” was the subject of a recent meeting of a North Carolina Fisheries Commission committee held in Morehead City. Some of the brilliant suggestions they came up with follow.
Perhaps they are commercial fishermen if 50% of their earnings come from fishing. (Now that one is wonderful. If a fisherman lucks out and finds something that pays a little bit more than commercial fishing during the time they’re not fishing, they have to tell some bureaucrat about it, and suddenly they’re not commercial fishermen anymore? Just what makes a fisherman’s non-fishing time the business of the bureaucrat anyway?)
Perhaps they are commercial fishermen if they have three dozen trip tickets per year. (Lord! Do these folks have to ask the government’s permission to go fishing? And get a “trip ticket” before they leave the dock? Isn’t this taking the game of “Mother-May-I” way too far?)
Perhaps they are commercial fishermen if they can provide bureaucrats with proof they have paid crew members an income of $10,000 or more per year. (Why is this any business of the bureaucrats? What if the fisherman goes out and doesn’t catch any fish? What if he or she decides to lay low awhile and try again when the season changes; can not paying crew enough money one year cause them to lose their license to fish???)
The rest of the suggestions these unelected bureaucrats came up with in Morehead City seem equally ludicrous to me. What’s worse, they seem designed to cause fishermen to lose their commercial fishing licensesIt actually looks like a campaign designed for the sole purpose of prizing the licenses away. What kind of government runs its entrepreneurs out of business?
To better understand this horror story, take a look at Michelle Malkin‘s recent video on the over-regulation of commercial fisherman. It appeared on CRTV recently, and you can find it at https://www.crtv.com/video/s2e11-preview–fishing-wars–drowning-in-regulations.
In addition, to get an even better understanding of what our North Carolina commercial fishermen are dealing with, listen to CCTA’s “Wake-Up Call” this Sunday (fm 107.1 at 11 a.m. with a replay at 8 p.m.). Jerry Schill is on the program with Rick and our panel, and the whole show deals with the situation. Jerry has been with the North Carolina Fisheries Association for years, formerly as its President, and currently as its Director of Government Relations, and man does he know his subject!
Plus, to keep up with all the (unfortunately) continuing drama, go to www.ncfish.org and request to be on the list to get urgent updates.
Respectfully submitted,
Hal James
CCTA Watchdog Committee Chairman

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