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Commercial Fishing Funding Boards to Meet

Shrimp trawlers are shown. The Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Grant Program is to provide funding for the development of sustainable commercial fishing in the state. Photo: NCDEQ

A joint meeting of the state’s Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee and North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Committee will be at 2:30 p.m. July 30 by webinar to vote on extending the current commercial public public relations project.

The committees will review and vote on extending Always NC Fresh by six months with 50% of the budget from 2020 under the current guidelines. Always NC Fresh “works to increase awareness of commercial fishing and fishermen, support existing sustainable fishing practices and help commercial fishermen communicate their contributions – economic, cultural and environmental – to the state and its citizens.”

The committees voted to request this proposal at its June 3 meeting. The meeting agenda and meeting packet are online.

The public can listen to the meeting by phone at 1-415-655-0003, access code 169 057 0762, or online here.

While public comment will not be accepted during the meeting or by email, written comments can be submitted by 5 p.m. July 28 either by online form here or mailing comments to  July 2020 CFRF Meeting Comments, P.O Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.

The Commercial Fishing Resource Fund receives money from an increase in commercial fishing license fees that took effect in 2015, according to the Division of Marine Fisheries. The fund pays for observer coverage to fulfill the state’s obligations under incidental take permits for sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon under the federal Endangered Species Act. Any additional money left in the fund is to be used for projects to develop and support sustainable commercial fishing in the state.

Spending for these projects must be approved by the Commercial Fishing Resource Funding Committee, which is made up of six commercial fishing representatives, and the Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Committee, comprised of members of the commission holding the three commercial fishing seats.

For more information, contact William Brantley with the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Administrative Services Office at 252-808-8015 or William.Brantley@ncdenr.gov.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.