Seafood commission nods to lift Martin County leaders pitch resolution in Raleigh

Published 3:37 am Friday, January 19, 2007

By By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
Braving wintry weather, Martin County leaders put their case for the river herring on a 10-foot-long scroll and took it to Raleigh on Thursday for a presentation that garnered favorable votes.
The Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture voted Thursday to recommend that the state consider lifting a moratorium on fishing for river herring. If that recommendation survives the higher-up hoops, fishermen would be allowed to have limited harvests of herring.
Under the terms of the commission’s Thursday recommendation, the state would allow at least 100,000 pounds of herring for commercial harvests and 25 fish per person per day for recreational anglers. That same language appears in the Martin County resolution that commissioners passed unanimously Jan. 10 — a request for the state to lift its moratorium on the fish Jamesville celebrates with an annual festival.
The commission’s recommendation must receive nods from several other bodies before it is binding. It’s next committee path was not clear at press time.
Hurst, during the commissioners’ meeting last week, said asking for relief from a herring moratorium was a matter of protecting the county’s heritage. The herring festival has come to Jamesville for nearly 60 years.
Terry Pratt, a member of the Albemarle Fishermen’s Association, said earlier this month that a moratorium on herring in the area does not take into account historic patterns.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission approved a moratorium on fishing for adult river herring last March.
herring ban