MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is reopening the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee appointment process to ensure adequate representation from all user groups.
The commission seeks a cross-section of applicants representing the various commercial and recreational shrimp fisheries, scientists with expertise in the areas of habitat or bycatch and gear innovation, especially with trawls and bycatch reduction devices, as well as individuals interested in shrimp fishing issues.
Certain fisheries stakeholder groups were found to be underrepresented in the original applicant pool, specifically those who fish with large trawlers and those who fish in the Pamlico Sound.
The Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee will join the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries in workshops over several days in March to develop Amendment 2 to the plan. Advisers will review scientific documents and issue papers and provide input to the division on refining management options in draft Amendment 2. Workshop-style meetings allow scientists, managers and stakeholders on the committee to address questions, comments and concerns in a less formal setting.
Amendment 2 will examine management strategies to further reduce bycatch of non-target species in the shrimp trawl fishery and habitat protections, as well as potential changes to existing shrimp management. Topics under review include effort controls and shrimp trawl area restrictions for habitat protections and potential reductions in bycatch.
Individuals interested in serving as an adviser should be available to attend and actively participate in the workshops scheduled for:
- 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 2.
- 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 4.
- 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 9.
- 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 10.
- 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 11.
- 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, March 15.
The workshops will be held via web conference. Therefore, individuals interested in serving are strongly encouraged to have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone with an internet connection.
The Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee workshop documents are currently available on the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee Workshops page at portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/shrimp-fmp-ac-workshops.
More information can be found at portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/shrimp-fmp-amendment-2-topic.
Advisers who submit required travel expense documentation complete the necessary paperwork will be reimbursed for expenses incurred in relation to their official duties.
To be qualified to serve on the committee, applicants may not have had a significant fisheries violation within the past three years.
Upon confirmation of their continued willingness to serve, all previously appointed advisers will be considered for reappointment.
Adviser applications are available online at files.nc.gov/ncdeq/MFC%20Advisory%20Committee%20Application.pdf or at DMF offices or by calling 252-808-8022 or 800-682-2632.
Applications must be received by noon Thursday.
Applications may be submitted by email to Dana.Gillikin@ncdenr.gov or by mail to N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557, Attention: Dana Gillikin.