Advocacy

Position Papers

Striped Bass In the CSMA

Inshore Shrimp Trawling

Hidden Cost of Gill Nets

Striped Bass Letter by Chris Elkins

Watch WRAL’s Documentary “Net Effect”

Testimonies

MFC Public Comment CSMA Striped Bass May 2016

MFC Public Comment Southern Flounder FMP Supplement May 2015

Public Comment Our Fisheries By Bud Abbott FEB 2017

Public Comment Shrimp Trawl By Bert Owens FEB 2017

Public Comment Shrimp Trawl By David Sneed FEB 2017

Upcoming Fisheries Meetings

Reaching Your Legislators

While there are surely exceptions, the vast majority of legislators personally monitor their legislative email inbox. So we recommend starting with email. Many legislators respond at least briefly to emails that are sent, at least those that come from their personal constituents.

There is a way to mark an email so you will be given notice when it is opened and read which you should consider using. NOTE: This selection needs to be done prior to sending the email.

So the first place to start is email.

If there is any doubt about the best way to contact a legislator, or if you don’t get notice that an email you sent was opened, call the legislator’s assistant, be sure to tell them if you are one of the legislator’s constituents, and ask what is the best way to communicate with him or her.

What should be included in an email or other written communication?

Be sure to indicate if you are a constituent of the legislator, up front. Like any good communication, make your point in the fewest words possible. A “me too” email on a current issue doesn’t need to be longer 100 words. A communication on a more complex subject, where you are doing more than simply voicing your opinion, should still be kept to below 500 words. If you are forwarding a “canned” email CCA has provided, PLEASE take the time to personalize it without altering the message. Thank the legislator for their service. If appropriate, invite them to respond to you about the issue.

What if I want to meet with my legislator?

Call his legislative assistant, tell them you are a constituent, and would like to set up a short meeting about fisheries issues.

Other Do’s/Don’ts

  • Above all, keep in mind the mission of CCA – to conserve our coastal fisheries resources. Avoid the pitfall of all fisheries issues being viewed through the prism of “user” conflict. At every opportunity, impress upon your legislator whatever you are discussing is about the conservation of a public trust resource, not how that resource gets divided among so-called “user groups.”
  • You do not have to be an expert, but study the issues and ask questions of CCA leadership before any personal interaction with legislators.
  • Of course, always be courteous and respectful, not just of the legislator but of our fellow citizens. The fundamental problem regarding destructive commercial fishing practices is the fact that they are allowed at all. “Blame” cannot be placed on anyone who is legally harvesting fish or shellfish.
  • If you ask for a meeting, be very respectful of the legislator’s time. A 15-minute meeting needs to be 15 minutes. AND, you need to leave ample time in any meeting for the legislator to talk. We want that feedback, whether it’s in person or via email.
  • Finally, notify Keith Johnson and David Sneed of any communication with a legislator that you believe is worth CCA legislative leadership knowing about, positive or negative.

Thanks for all efforts to communicate with our legislators about the need for coastal fisheries reform in N.C.

Here’s how a sample letter might read:

Mr. Sammy Corbett, Chairman
N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
3441 Arendell Street
Morehead City, NC 28557 

Via email

Dear Chairman Corbett,

I’ve been a resident of Johnston County for nearly 50 years. I grew up just waiting for the weekends when my father would take me fishing for striped bass on the Neuse River. I try to take my own little guy fishing when I can but the Neuse has become a sorry excuse for a striped bass fishery. There are just no fish anymore.

I’ve read several studies by graduate students and Wildlife Resources Commission biologists that conclude the bass population is declining and basically stocked at a high cost just so the commercial fishermen can go net them all.

I ask that you and your fellow commissioners vote at the next MFC meeting to close the Neuse to commercial fishermen so that the fish population will have a chance to recover. When I take my son fishing, I want him to enjoy the same thrill I did when I hooked my first striper years ago.

Thank you for your consideration and please call if I can answer any questions.

Sincerely,

David M. Jones
(919) 257-3310
304 Laurel Rd.
Smithfield, N.C. 27989

CC: Rep. John Bell, N.C. House of Representatives
       Jim Allen, Editor, The Smithfield News
       David Sneed, Executive Director, CCA NC
       John van der Vaart, Secretary, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality

Find Your Legislator and North Carolina Legislature

Save NC Sounds

North Carolina is blessed to have one of the largest areas of inshore water anywhere in the United States. This network of sounds, wetlands, waterways and rivers is home to the largest nursery area for hundreds of marine species anywhere on the Atlantic coast.

Each year, mature fish come into these waters to spawn. Their offspring enjoy the calm shallow waters of these areas that are largely protected from the fury of Mother Nature and the dangers of the open ocean.

Unfortunately, there are threats in these waters that are many times more dangerous than anything Mother Nature could dream up. The estuarine waters of North Carolina are subject to some of the most destructive commercial fishing gear allowed anywhere in the United States.

Inshore shrimp trawlers drag heavy nets across the bottom of our sounds, choking out oyster beds, sea grass, and destroying anything else in their path while at the same time killing over 400 million juvenile finfish each year. In other areas, non-selective gill nets that are primarily set to catch Southern Flounder are killing off large numbers of redfish, sea turtles, and birds.

Inshore shrimp trawling and gillnets have been used recklessly by commercial fishermen for decades and they have turned our fishery into a shell of what it once was.

The time has come to remove large shrimp trawlers and gillnets from our inshore waters. Our fisheries cannot continue to be abused by user groups that do nothing but harvest from our waters without any consideration for the health of our marine ecosystem.

Please visit savencsounds.org to see video clips of the destruction caused by this form of commercial fishing. This separate non-profit website is brought to you by CCA NC and our conservation partners.

Learn More About Save NC Sounds