NC - North Carolina State Fisheries Under Legal Attack
The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries is fielding attacks from two recreational fishing groups, alleging the agency exhibits “abject failure in properly managing the state’s coastal fisheries resources.”
The lawsuits have been filed by the North Carolina Coastal Fisheries Reform Group (NCCFRG) and most recently, by the Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina (CCA). Both actions take aim at the state’s “public-trust responsibilities to manage coastal fish stocks in a way that protects the public-trust rights of the public.”
According to Glenn Skinner, executive director of the North Carolina Fisheries Association, these attacks on the state’s fisheries agencies and the commercial industry are nothing new, but he has noted a change.
“While none of this is surprising, the number of attacks has definitely increased,” says Skinner. “There seems to be an effort to ‘go for the throat’ lately on multiple fronts. Attacks such as these mirror a lot of what’s gone on in other states, especially regarding the CCA.”
The Coast Fisheries Reform Group dropped its initial lawsuit claiming without evidence that the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Marine Fisheries violated the federal Clean Water Act in its management of shrimp trawling in North Carolina. But the group has now turned attention to individual trawling companies: Capt. Gaston, LLC.; Esther Joy, Inc.; Hobo Seafood, Inc.; Lady Samaria, Inc.; Trawler Capt. Alfred, Inc.; and Trawlers Garland and Jeff, Inc.