May 4, 2017

North Carolina: Senate Adopts Resolution Opposing Catch Share Management

On April 24, the North Carolina Senate adopted Senate Resolution 370, which opposes the implementation of catch shares for federal fisheries management in the South Atlantic and federal waters off the coast of North Carolina.  

This bill is sponsored by North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus member Senator Bill Rabon. “This resolution is a proactive step to protect North Carolina’s recreational and commercial fishermen from misguided efforts to institute catch shares. Catch share management has been detrimental to local fishing communities where it has been implemented,” said Sen. Rabon.

Catch share management systems are controversial because the total catch of a fishery’s sector is allocated to a limited number of fishermen within that sector, resulting in the consolidation of fishing fleets and loss of fishing jobs. SR 370 states, “private ownership of federal fishery resources through catch share programs nationally has caused significant consolidation of fishing fleets, reducing access to the resource and causing significant fishing job losses to the detriment of fishing communities and the coastal economy.” The resolution also cited a study that estimated “that as many as 18,000 fishing jobs were lost and 3,700 vessels were no longer fishing in areas that had catch share programs.”

The South Carolina House of Representatives adopted a similar resolution on March 7.

SR 370 mandated that copies of the resolution be given to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries, and the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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