I applaud The N&O for taking on an important and complicated issue with its Sept. 13 news article “Fish wars swirl around diminishing flounder.”
As the vice chair of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, which is working for the sustainability of the southern flounder and was mentioned in your article, I am appalled by the political intervention into the regulatory process by some in the legislature and by the DENR secretary. This fishery, like so many others, is in a crisis after many years of mismanagement and failure to act.
At last, the Marine Fisheries Commission was preparing to take the difficult but necessary management steps to reduce the overall harvest of the flounder. Now the process has been thrown into chaos by this political intervention, while the southern flounder population continues to dwindle.
We need to focus on immediate steps to sustain this important recreational and commercial resource, put politics and special interests aside, or risk losing this species forever.