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November 25, 2010

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Kenneth Seigler

III. HARVEST RESTRICTIONS
“It is unlawful for a commercial fishing operation to possess or sell spotted seatrout for commercial purposes from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday each week. This harvest restriction is effective year round.”

I find it necessary to remind only a short few months ago, a petition signed by some 10,000 citizens was delivered to the NC General Assembly opposing the institution of a law (H918) which would have spotted seatrout designated game fish, prohibiting the sale of the fish and removing them from markets. Opposition to the bill was profound surprisingly including DMF Director Daniels.

Please make note of the language proposed in House Bill 918,
Section 1 Coastal game fish
(b) (2) “They may not be bought, sold, bartered, or exchanged.
(3) “They may not be possessed for the purpose of purchase, sale, barter, exchange, or for transport or shipment in commerce within the State or for export from the State."

Now that same strong arm language manifests itself as a management tactic with a prohibition on the possession or sale of the fish in the form of fishery rule issued at the direction of the NC Marine Fisheries Commission whom now bow to the whims of those same extreme special interests demanding and intent upon acquiring a 100% allocation of this resource.

Harvest reductions were the issue addressed by the recent fisheries management plan process, not the desires of a few to sequester a citizen’s ability to possess or divest the public of its interest in available resources in markets. Public markets are the venues through which all citizens may realize the benefits of abundant resources, not just a select privileged few.

I submit it is not a viable management strategy to prohibit the sale of fish eliminating them from markets when the targeted user group affected by the prohibition accounts for less than a 25% share of fish harvested. Education is the historically accepted management policy. Prohibitions with sanctions or embargoes on trade provide only additional negative impacts for ailing state and local economies.

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