Coastal Fisheries Reform Group hires attorney


Group hopes to change how coastal fisheries are managed

The North Carolina Coastal Fisheries Reform Group has hired legal counsel in its efforts to change the way coastal fisheries are managed.

The NCCFRG announced in February that it had retained James L. Conner II, a partner in Calhoun, Bhella and Sechrest in Durham, N.C., to represent it.

“North Carolina’s public trust marine resources have been undeniably neglected. We at the NCCFRG have a clear mission and a common-sense path forward,” said Joe Albea, producer of an outdoor television show and a spokesman for NCCFRG. “Yet our message has been ignored by the politicians in Raleigh.

“We’ve gone to great lengths to reach out repeatedly to our general assembly, state agencies and to the duly elected governor of North Carolina. Yet our requests for reasonable dialogue have fallen on deaf ears. Without access to political representation, we are left with no choice but to look to legal remedies at this juncture.”

NCCFRG currently supporting two bills

Conner, a former judge, is an experienced environmental lawyer who has been a Superior Court mediator. He was selected this year as one of the top 100 lawyers in North Carolina.

NCCFRG is supporting two bills that have been filed in the N.C. General Assembly: HR 483 and HR 486.

HR 483, aka Let Them Spawn, would require any valuable saltwater species to be managed with a minimum size limit that allowed 75 percent of juvenile fish to reach maturity and spawn at least once. The bill has passed the N.C. House and moved to the Senate, where it is being discussed in committee.

HR 486 proposes reforms to the way commercial fishing licenses are sold, and to whom. It would establish classes of commercial licenses: crew, standard, heritage and retired. It does away with the Recreational Commercial Gear License but allows recreational license holders to use bait seines and crab pots.

This bill also increases the cost of most licenses, commercial or recreational.

About Dan Kibler 887 Articles
Dan Kibler is the former managing editor of Carolina Sportsman Magazine. If every fish were a redfish and every big-game animal a wild turkey, he wouldn’t ever complain. His writing and photography skills have earned him numerous awards throughout his career.

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