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October 18, 2018 2:30 pm EST
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SaltwaterCentral - Quit Fishing ~ Start Catching - SaltwaterCentral.Com


April 14, 2009, COASTAL FISHERIES REFORM GROUP

Press Release:

 

Raleigh NC, House of Representatives. House Bill “h918” the Coastal Game Fish Act has been introduced and referred to the Marine Resources and Aquaculture Committee. This committee is Chaired by Representative Tim Spear, tim.spear@ncleg.net and includes the following Representatives;  Rep. Pat McElraft, pat.mcelraft@ncleg.net, Rep. Bonner Stiller, bonner.stiller@ncleg.net, Rep. William Wainwright, William.wainwright@ncleg.net, Arthur Williams, Arthur.williams@ncleg.net, Rep. Pricey Harrison, pricey.harrison@ncleg.net, Rep. Carolyn Justice, Carolyn.justice@ncleg.net, Rep. Jimmy Love, jimmy.love@ncleg.net, Rep. Danny McComas, danny.mccomas@ncleg.net, and Rep. Alice Underhill, alice.underhill@ncleg.net.

 

We encourage you to email the members of this committee and assure them that The Red Drum and Spotted Sea Trout need to be “Game Fish” in our “Coastal Waters” just as they are once they reach the safety of our “Inland Waters”. That’s right! If these fish are lucky enough to maneuver and avoid the commercial fisherman’s gill nets to get to our inland creeks for the winter, there they already have “Game Fish Protection” from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission!  Why shouldn’t they have that same protection everywhere they travel In NC waters? South Carolina has realized this, and these two fish are Game Fish in all South Carolina waters, both Coastal and Inland!

 

The economic values of these two fish to our coastal communities runs through every aspect of most every business and service industry here on the coast. The majority of dollars spent by recreational fishermen in pursuit of these beautiful Sport Fish ultimately find their way here to our coastal towns and communities. Please choose to protect these two fish for now, and for our children and our children’s children.

 

History has proven that the Red Drum recovers from over-fishing very slowly because they must reach four to five years of age to reach spawning capacity. The Spotted Sea Trout is very susceptible to winter “freeze events” and their stocks can be decimated in just a few short days of freezing weather. Add this needed protection with the enormous number of targeted fishing trips by the recreational angler because of their sport fishing popularity, and Game Fish protection just makes plain common sense!

 

Some may ask, “What is a “Game Fish” and how will that affect me as a recreational fisherman?” Game Fish status simply takes the fish off the commercial market. They cannot be bought or sold, or exported for profit. You can catch them, eat them or release them, share them with your Mom, you just can’t sell them! With the ever increasing numbers of recreational fishermen coming to our shores each year, these fish stocks can no longer withstand the pressures of both recreational fishing, and wholesale slaughter by commercial fishermen. The economic values dictate that they are best suited for recreational use only. The commercial fisherman can still catch and eat this fish, but he must use a rod and reel with hook and line, and he can no longer sell these fish. That is basically what “Game Fish Status” means.

 

The last ten years, these two fish combined have averaged less than 1% of the total revenues of the statewide commercial fishing revenues! The argument that this will put people out of business is ludicrous! H918 does make provisions to mitigate or pay commercial fishermen who can provide positive proof of loss of income due to this measure for the next three years. Some might argue that due to the economic times, we should wait to do this. History has shown us that we must stand even more vigilant in protecting our natural resources in financial down turns. Most all of our Wildlife Agencies and Wildlife protection laws were born out of the Great Depression era. Men were guilty of over-harvesting animals and fish for money, and many species were almost completely destroyed as a result. We cannot let that happen now!

 

Please visit our website at www.cfrgnc.blogspot.com to find your Representative or Senator, and their email link is provided for your convenience. Please email them and ask them to please support h918, The Coastal Game Fish Act! Do this for your children. Do this for these two fish!

 

Coastal Fisheries Reform Group

CFRGNC@yahoo.com

www.cfrgnc.blogspot.com/

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