Coastal Gamefish Act

We finally have legislation in front of the state house to assign gamefish status to redfish and speckled trout. The CFRG blog has a list of all the state representatives. Take a couple minutes and send an email to them to express your support.

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4 thoughts on “Coastal Gamefish Act

  1. Edward C. Maurer

    Since so many people would like to write their representatives, and many don’t really know what to say, I’d like to ‘donate’ the following form letter for you to cut and paste in your email:

    Greetings,

    I would like to encourage you in the most strenuous of terms to support H918, The Coastal Game Fish Act.

    Other Atlantic and Gulf coastal states have passed similar measures with great success. The result of these actions has contributed greatly to the preservation and enhancement of these species with a resulting increase in tourism, fishing licenses to residents and tourists, retail sales of fishing equipment and boats, property rentals and et cetera. Tax revenues from those transactions have increased accordingly.

    While no one wants to see further impact to anyone’s honest and fair livelihood, continued commercial exploitation of these fish species as food will only result in their decrease and possible demise. By declaring red drum and speckled trout to be game fish the health of these populations will be guaranteed, a claim commercial fishermen cannot make.

    Many thousands of anglers around the nation support the kind of measures delineated in H918. Many thousands of your North Carolina voting constituents also support these measures, and we look forward to supporting those who seek to further preserve the environment through reasonable means such as these.

    I encourage you to vote ‘Yes’ on H918.

    Thank you for your kind consideration of this request,

    Please remember to include your name and city in your signature block.
    Ed

  2. If this bill gets out of the House Marine Resources Committee, it will go to the Finance Committee since it involves money for any losses incurred by the commercial fishermen. If it gets to the House floor for the second and third readings, then it is critical to contact your state representatives, especially if you know them personally. The same will be true in the Senate where the commercial interests may have more clout with the chamber’s leader, Marc Basnight of Dare County. Even if the bill goes down this year, it is a great opportunity to begin the educational process on a little-known issue. Stress the dollars and jobs the recreational fishing industry generates.

    Thanks,
    Rip Woodin

  3. Edward C. Maurer

    Good observation, Rip. Hard financial data, especially “before and after” type is essential–especially those figures that reflect tax revenue since the state’s coffers are somewhat depleted right now. If we can demonstrate that this decision will decrease the likelihood of tax increases, especially property and income taxes, then we stand a fighting chance against well-entrenched, short-sighted influences.

    1. In response to my email, I received this email today:

      Thank you for your email. As you may know, House Bill 918 has not been passed by the NC House of Representatives and was not introduced in the NC Senate. Therefore, it is not currently before the Senate. I have spoken with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Marine Fisheries Director, the Director of the Wildlife Resources Commission and the Marine Fisheries Commission, and none of them support this legislation. The Fisheries Reform Act authorizes the MFC to regulate fisheries. Since this regulation did not come from the MFC or the Joint Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture, it does not seem to have followed the process as prescribed by statute. I would urge you to please work with the MFC on this issue. Senator Basnight understands the importance of both the recreational and commercial fisheries. For one user group to have all of the chips is not the intent of the Fisheries Reform Act. Again, thank you for your email. If there is anything our office can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

      Chris Dillon
      Director of Special Projects
      President Pro Tempore’s Office
      North Carolina Senate
      chrisd@ncleg.net

      NOW–if going the legislative route is not appropriate, what is being done to lobby MFC? I’ll get behind and action you care to take!

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