OB Catch hosting summit on N.C. Fisheries Reform Act

By on September 26, 2017

The 20th anniversary of the Fisheries Reform Act is this year and the Outer Banks Catch will host an anniversary summit to revisit the creation of the State’s first-ever comprehensive fisheries management structure set into law.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Washington Civic Center in Washington, NC on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Coffee and donuts will be served at 9:30 and a light lunch will be provided. Preregistration and a $10 fee is required. To register, go to events at www.outerbankscatch.com.

Panelists comprised of a cross section of individuals who worked on different aspects of developing and then implementing recommendations that are the basis for the act will share their insights into the development of the Act which has been heralded by other states as being the gold standard for fisheries management legislation.

In addition, a panel of scientists will discuss emerging issues such as changes in environmental conditions such as warming waters that weren’t envisioned at the time of creation.

The last panel of the day will discuss if now, 20 years later, is it still standing the test of time or does it need tweaking or if changes made to the act over the last two decades should be rolled back to the Act’s original intent.

North Carolina Coastal Federation Director Todd Miller will moderate the discussions.

After each panel’s presentation, there will be a question and answer period. Questions will be submitted in writing.

Panelists include but are not limited to:

  • Selma attorney and recreational fisherman Bob Lucas, who chaired the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Moratorium Steering Committee that hammered out the recommendations that were the basis of the Fisheries Reform Act.
  • B.J. Copeland, fisheries scientist and former Sea Grant executive director served on Moratorium Steering Committee and was a MFC member, now retired
  • Jimmy Johnson, MFC chairman during implementation, was a former commercial crab house owner and dealer, now Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership coastal habitats coordinator for implementation of the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan that were mandated by the FRA
  • Jess Hawkins, marine biologist, Division of Marine Fisheries staff liaison for the MFC during creation and implementation of the Fisheries Reform Act, later served as MFC member, now owner/operator of Crystal Coast Ecotours
  • Susan West, commercial fishing activist and writer who served on the Moratorium Steering Committee
  • Bob Lane, commercial fisherman and owner of Capt. Bob’s Seafood restaurant in Hertford
  • Bill Gorham, recreational fisherman, owner of Bowed Up Lures, South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council’s Cobia Sub Panel and Citizen Science Advistory Panel
  • Anne Deaton, Habitat Assessment Coordinator of the Division of Marine Fisheries Habitat Enhancement and Protection Section
  • Joel Fodrie, fisheries ecologist and associate professor at UNC-CH’s Institute of Marine Sciences
  • Sara Mirabilo, marine scientist and fisheries extension specialist with the North Carolina Sea Grant program
  • Wilson Laney, senior biologist, Fisheries/Ecological Services at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Raleigh and adjunct assistant professor, NCSU Department of Applied Ecology.

In addition, NC Sea Grant, North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries and the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership will provide exhibits and information about water quality and habitat, and commercial fishing gear.




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