Location: Ocean Isle Beach
Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:59 pm
Phillip T. ReynoldsAssistant Attorney General
Department of Justice - Environmental Division
PO Box 629
Raleigh, NC 27602
Sammy Corbett, Chairman
Marine Fisheries Commission
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
3441 Arendell Street
Morehead City, NC 28557
Nancy Fish, Liaison
Dear Mr. Reynolds and Chairman Corbett,
Our firm represents the Recreational Fishing Alliance of North Carolina (RFA-NC). RFA-NC is a group of charter boat Captains, fishing guides, tackle and bait providers, and common fisherman with an economic and personal stake in the health of North Carolina’s marine fisheries.
As a group, RFA-NC is saddened by the failure of the MFC to act to preserve and protect the stock of southern flounder in our State. Many of our members are on the water hundreds of days a year and can attest to the fact that this stock needs serious help immediately.
Chairman Corbett recently released a letter to the full MFC addressing his delay in calling for a vote on a flounder supplement that included the following language:
“It has been suggested to me that I should convene a special meeting regardless of whether all members could attend. To be clear, I will not schedule a special meeting to act on this or any other matters of importance without having every member of the commission in attendance. I believe that the very nature of a special meeting necessitates every member’s full, in-person participation.”
With all due respect to Chairman Corbett’s intentions, this is not, and has never been the law of the North Carolina. His erroneous interpretation of the law has delayed the supplement process, allowing status-quo fishing of depleted southern flounder in North Carolina. Coincidentally, October accounts for a higher commercial catch of southern flounder than any other month. The damage done to an already depleted stock as a result of Chairman Corbett’s unilateral decision not to act cannot be understated.
Nevertheless, Chairman Corbett has expressed an intention to address the flounder supplement at the upcoming meeting in Nags Head in November. RFA-NC believes that Chairman Corbett and the MFC have a statutory duty to act to achieve a sustainable harvest of southern flounder in order to preserve the long term viability of the stock. RFA-NC hopes that Mr. Reynolds, as advising attorney for the MFC, will confirm not only this duty, but that quorum of the MFC, and not a unanimous panel is needed to pass a supplement.
Should the Chairman and the MFC fail to follow the basic guidelines established by the legislature for the conduct of the MFC’s business, RFA-NC’s membership will lose the remaining confidence it has in the MFC’s ability to preserve our State’s public trust resources.
RFA-NC is prepared to pursue all remedies available at law to protect its membership’s interest in the health of North Carolina’s southern flounder fishery.
Matthew H. Richardson
Location: The LA
Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:14 am
And Chairman Corbett's response: " LOL. Whatya gonna do about it RFA??? We all know where my bread is buttered."
Thuggery in government is alive and doing well in NC. Always has been, always will be. Using the stall tactic has gotten one more season of flounder to the market, and that's all that concerns the powers that be.