Gone fishing! Fishing is such a universally-appreciated sport and livelihood, that everyone seeing a sign with that text understands it immediately.
Fishing is also highly regulated, so North Carolina officials are seeking public comment on ways fisheries agencies might be reorganized in the state.
A fishery is considered the activity surrounding raising and/or harvesting fish and covers any activity regarding fish, whether it be stocking and raising fishing in a home-built pond or river, raising fish commercially, or harvesting fish individually with a fishing pole from a public water resource and so on.
Currently, fishing is regulated by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Officials in those agencies are now investigating how those public agencies can provide more efficient productive and enjoyable uses of fisheries resources in the state.
Legislation signed into law this year directs these agencies to study current management of fisheries and whether these agencies should be reorganized. The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is accepting the comments on behalf of all three agencies.
The Division of Marine Fisheries manages coastal fish species and the Wildlife Resources Commission manages inland fish species. The commission will take public comment at 6 p.m. Aug. 22 and 9 a.m. Aug. 23 at the Brownstone Hilton Double Tree Hotel, 1707 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, N.C.
The commission chairman will allow each commenter to speak five minutes during the Aug 22 session, three minutes during the Aug. 23 session. Due to time constraints speakers will be asked to speak only once, whether at the Aug. 22 or Aug. 23 sessions. Individuals will not be allowed to speak during both public comment periods.
The Wildlife Resources Commission will also receive public comment on these issues during its Aug. 29 committee meetings at the Wildlife Resources Commission Headquarters Conference Room, 1751 Varsity Drive, N.C. State University Centennial Campus, Raleigh.
Additionally, the agencies will also hold two joint meetings in coastal areas for the sole purpose of taking comments on this issue. The meetings are scheduled for:
6 p.m., Sept. 5
Craven County Cooperative Extension Office
300 Industrial Drive, New Bern, N.C.
6 p.m., Sept 6
Dare County Administration Building
Commissioners Meeting Room
954 Marshall C. Collins Drive, Manteo, N.C.
The public may comment in writing online or by mail by addressing S821 Comments, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1701. The deadline for receipt of written comments is Sept. 7.
All comments offered on this issue will be presented for joint consideration by all three agencies.
Information for this article comes from the N.C Division of Marine Fisheries through the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.