MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has added a public comment period to the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting of the Joint Law Enforcement Agreement Advisory Group. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at the Craven County Agricultural Center, 300 Industrial Drive, New Bern.
Public comment will be accepted at the end of the meeting. A meeting agenda is attached.
Members of the public may also comment in writing as to whether the state should enter into a joint law enforcement agreement with the federal government. Written comments may be sent to Marine Patrol Capt. Steve Anthony at Steve.Anthony@ncdenr.gov or at P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557. Comments must be received by the division by 5 p.m. July 1 to be considered as part of the study.
The division is conducting a 12-month study to determine the possible impacts, costs and benefits of a joint law enforcement agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service, and whether the N.C. General Assembly should authorize the division to enter into an agreement. The division is required, by law, to submit findings of a study on this topic to the General Assembly by Oct. 15. Consultation with an advisory group is part of this process.
In a joint enforcement agreement, the N.C. Marine Patrol would contract with the National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Law Enforcement to supplement and enhance federal fisheries law enforcement capabilities. The agreement would be accompanied by an enforcement plan in which both the state and federal agencies agree to a list of priorities and activities to be enforced by state officers. In return, the Marine Patrol would receive monetary compensation and training about federal regulations.
A joint enforcement agreement also would allow Marine Patrol officers to charge fishermen with minor federal offenses, and adjudicate those charges through state district court.
For more information, contact Marine Patrol Col. Jim Kelley at 252-808-8130 or Jim.M.Kelley@ncdenr.gov.
Website: http://www.deq. nc.gov
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1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699
Joint Law Enforcement Agreement Stakeholders
Craven County Agricultural Center
300 Industrial Drive, New Bern, NC
June 1, 2016, 5:00 p.m.
1. Call to Order – Dee Lupton, DMF Deputy Director
Review Session Law 2015-201
3. Stakeholder Introduction
4. Joint Enforcement Agreement Overview – Captain Steve Anthony
6. Summarize Stakeholder Input
7. Next Steps
8. Public Comment
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA SESSION
2015 SESSION LAW 2015-201
SENATE BILL 374
SECTION 3.(a) G.S. 113-224 reads as rewritten:
"§ 113-224. Cooperative agreements by Department.
(a) The Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Department is empowered to enter into cooperative agreements with public and private agencies and individuals respecting the matters governed in this Subchapter. Pursuant to such agreements the Department may expend funds, assign employees to additional duties within or without the State, assume additional responsibilities, and take other actions that may be required by virtue of such agreements, in the overall best interests of the conservation of marine and estuarine resources.
(b) The Fisheries Director or a designee of the Fisheries Director may shall not enter into an agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service of the United States Department of Commerce allowing Division of Marine Fisheries inspectors to accept delegation of law enforcement powers over matters within the jurisdiction of the National Marine Fisheries Service."
SECTION 3.(b) G.S. 128-1.1(c2) is repealed.
SECTION 4. The Division of Marine Fisheries of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall conduct a 12-month process to seek input from stakeholders on the impacts, costs, and benefits of a joint enforcement agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service of the United States Department of Commerce and whether the authorization to enter into such an agreement should be reenacted. The study shall also include the establishment of and consultation with a stakeholder advisory group that shall only include persons who are for-hire license holders representing all major recreational fishing areas on the North Carolina coast, commercial fishing license holders on the North Carolina coast, and relevant staff to the Division. The Division shall submit its report to the Environmental Review Commission no later than October 15, 2016.
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