RALEIGH — A seafood industry nonprofit seeks to intervene in a civil case between a conservation group and state fisheries managers.
The N.C. Fisheries Association, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the state seafood industry, filed Jan. 28 in Wake County Superior Court a motion to intervene in the civil complaint filed Nov. 10, 2020, by the Coastal Conservation Association’s North Carolina branch against the state. CCANC, a recreational fishing and conservation nonprofit, alleges state officials have mismanaged coastal fisheries resources.
According to a statement posted Feb. 5 on the NCFA’s website, the association “felt obligated to protect the interest of our members and those who rely on commercial fishermen as their source to access North Carolina seafood.”
“Along with our motion to intervene, we have filed a proposed motion requesting the dismissal of the CCA lawsuit against the state,” the association said. “Regardless of the outcome of these motions, the NCFA will address, in court or publicly, each false claim put forward by the CCA.”
CCANC Executive Director David Sneed told the News-Times Wednesday the conservation association “will respond to the motion at the appropriate time.”
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Communications Director Patricia Smith said state officials don’t have a comment at this time.
The NCFA said it believes all stakeholders – recreational, commercial and consumer – have a right to access North Carolina’s marine resources and a duty to protect them for future generations.
“The CCA’s view – that recreational fishing is a constitutional right which cannot be infringed upon, while commercial fishing is a narrow, limited privilege afforded only by statute – isn’t a view shared by the NCFA,” the fisheries association said.
NCFA Executive Director Glenn Skinner said Wednesday in an email to the News-Times the fisheries association, to his knowledge, has never attempted to intervene in a lawsuit against the state before.
“If the case is dismissed, no further legal action will be necessary,” he said. “If the case isn’t dismissed, we’ll prepare to defend the case along side of the state of North Carolina. If our motion to intervene isn’t granted, or the case is dismissed, we’ll be free to address the CCA’s claims publicly and will do so.”
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email firstname.lastname@example.org; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.