In response to your Sept. 1 editorial “Fishy business on fish rules”: The N&O claimed the General Assembly was considering budget language that would keep the Marine Fisheries Commission from doing an amendment on southern flounder. That is not true, and our position has been that an amendment is what the commission should be doing. The issue is the relatively recent authority that has been given to the commission to do a supplement. That process is supposed to be a quick way to get regulations in place if it’s determined that the species in question is in dire straits.
Although The N&O claims southern flounder is near collapse, there are no data to support such a claim. Further, the commission is using the supplement to ban gear, which can be done only through an amendment, as the supplement process does not allow for the more detailed public scrutiny.
We expect all fishermen to abide by the rules. Should not the regulatory body be held to the same standards or higher? Why does The N&O support an agency going outside the rules?
The Marine Fisheries Commission exists because it was created by the General Assembly. The commission is expected to abide by the rules that were adopted by the General Assembly. Why is it wrong for the General Assembly to provide oversight?
I have never heard anyone dispute the notion that commercial fishermen are some of the hardest working laborer’s in our country.
President, North Carolina Fisheries Association, Inc.