Why Support House Bill 867 – The Coastal Fisheries Conservation and Economic Development Act
House Bill 867 makes multiple improvements to existing law that are essential to the future sustainability of our coastal fisheries resources. First, North Carolina has outdated fishery management laws that must be updated. Secondly, we should prioritize the growth and sustainability of our fisheries and their economic impacts. Finally, the decision-making process for marine fisheries must be streamlined and more efficient.
- NC Sound Economy is a new broad based coalition that is taking a middle-of-the-road approach to fix fisheries management issues, and end the unproductive fights of the past by supporting House Bill 867.
- If North Carolina will prioritize fisheries growth, all fishermen will benefit.
- Recent studies show that most of our important fisheries are on the decline, with 17 species considered depleted or of concern. Only five out of 22 state-managed coastal finfish and shellfish stocks are currently considered viable.
- The solutions in House Bill 867 are supported by the North Carolina Chamber, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Yamaha, American Sportfishing Association, Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation, Big Rock Sports, NC Wildlife Federation, NC Guides Association, Coastal Conservation Association NC, Big Rock Sports, Summit Hospitality Group LTD, Neuse Sport Shop, Grady-White Boats, Regulator Marine and many, many more.
- House Bill 867 prioritizes the potential major economic benefits for all fishermen and the entire fishing economy. The bill contains no net bans, gamefish mandates or prohibitions.
- The solutions in House Bill 867 will help remove politics from decision making by ensuring that the latest science, and data, drive the Commission process for fishery management regulations.
- The states that have taken a conservation based approach have both thriving commercial and recreational fishing industries, including Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Virginia.
- The NC Sound Economy organization commissioned a study to examine a conservation oriented fishery management strategy for North Carolina. The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, in collaboration with an economist from University of North Carolina Wilmington, found that the state can take a range of steps to strengthen coastal livelihoods, raise incomes and make coastal communities more resilient.
- With House Bill 867, North Carolina can take a conservation based approach to fisheries management and could gain a 30-year economic benefit of: $829.7 million dollars; $4.2 billion in total sales; 1,493 additional jobs; and $1.6 billion in labor income. This is in addition to the current level of fisheries related economic benefits.
- Read the bill here.