Bert Owens: Fisheries bill will work

May 8, 2013 

Fine fisheries bill

The May 2 Point of View “Taking fish from Tar Heel plates” misrepresented HB 983, the “Fisheries Economic Development Act.”

Consumers will still have these species available to them. For years red drum and stripers have been commercially raised. The ocean striper fishery remains open, and often it provides the majority of the landings of these fish. Our state fish, red drum, cannot be legally targeted now. Still, fishermen with documented catches will be compensated under HB 983.

Designating these fish as game fish will be an economic boost to “mom and pop” businesses and their workers. Fisheries management will be simplified and fish populations will increase, as shown in other states.

North Carolinians will quit traveling out of state to catch these fish, as I have, and others will come here to spend their money. No one gets hurt and jobs result. HB 983: It’s the right thing to do for the Old North State.

Bert Owens


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