Representative Tine announced today that he strongly opposes House Bill 983 entitled, 2013 Fisheries Economic Development Act.
“This bill is a thinly-veiled effort by special interests to accomplish one thing, to eliminate commercial fishermen from catching Trout, Rockfish, and Drum,” said Representative Tine. “Commercial fishing is vital to our economy; we should be focused on finding ways to support our commercial fishing industry rather than adding new limitations and regulations.”
The bill ties dredging measures, compensation to some fishing industries, and fisheries observer program funding to making three species of fish only available to recreational fishermen.
“Dredging and fisheries management support needs to be a priority for the state all the time, not as a condition of giving up the right to fish certain species,” stated Rep. Tine. “We should not be in the business of picking winners and losers by decreeing from Raleigh who can access these fish. Right now, about 10% of the catch goes to commercial fishermen and the consumer. It is irresponsible to eliminate their access to a public trust fishery to accommodate a special interest.”
Paul Tine stated that he would be working with fishermen from all over the region to continue a concerted effort to fight the bill and that several members of the Coastal Caucus were collaborating to try and defeat the bill.