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If you can't fathom Cooke, maybe you

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Ray Brown View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 December 2017 at 10:08pm
can visualize this. These are being approved up and down our coast and are nothing, in terms of size, compared to the fish pens that Cooke is planning. Many who own land at the coast will see a working waterfront materialize right behind the house and with each one the public fishing area shrinks.

The view the Republicans have taken from us.

Edited by Ray Brown - 27 December 2017 at 10:25pm
Shrimp trawling never stops in Pamlico Sound. It just pauses on the weekend so crabs can remove the dead and dying from the battlefield.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 December 2017 at 10:32pm
They sold Jones street and seem to be looking for new opportunities
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2017 at 9:27am
Oyster farming could have benefits to water quality. Hopefully the state gov will open their eyes and recognize that they need to determine where in the sound to open for leasing and where not to allow leases to cut down on the potential for conflict. The Commissioners discussed this some at the last MFC meeting. Overall I think it can be a good thing but if something isn't done then it could become a bad thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lcg8978 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2017 at 9:58am
Originally posted by todobien todobien wrote:

Oyster farming could have benefits to water quality. Hopefully the state gov will open their eyes and recognize that they need to determine where in the sound to open for leasing and where not to allow leases to cut down on the potential for conflict. The Commissioners discussed this some at the last MFC meeting. Overall I think it can be a good thing but if something isn't done then it could become a bad thing.

I would have to agree with this. I love the potential benefits, but at the same time I surprisingly do sympathize with the waterfront property owners on this one. If your view includes a low tide flat, of course you are going to see oysters, but some of these operations are far from natural looking. Seeing a few guys harvesting oysters behind your house comes with the territory, but a full fledged commercial operation behind your house would be an eyesore to most, and could negatively impact property values. Most if not all of the homes on the waterway near me are million dollar plus homes, so even a few percentage decrease in property values is a pretty significant chunk of change.

Lets say that one acre lease impacts the property values of 3 homes adjacent by only 1%: $30,000 in decreased value at a minimum (and the property taxes to city/county that come with the value). How much value is added to the economy from that same lease?

From a fishing perspective, the extra habitat is welcomed, but there are now a few operations in place in areas that were historically great flats to fish. A few do still hold fish, but its nearly impossible to fish these locations with what they have done.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2017 at 10:25am



...a predication of what it looks like in the future?


NOAA Funds Aquaculture Debris Cleanup

by Brad Rich

Debris from the abandoned aquaculture operation at Harkers Island includes PVC pipes and plastic mesh netting along the shore and in the marsh. Photo: NOAA

HARKERS ISLAND – Thanks to a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program, a contractor working for the North Carolina Coastal Federation will soon clean up debris left over from an abandoned aquaculture facility in the waters near Harkers Island in Carteret County.

The $129,041 project is to be paid for with $64,474 from NOAA and a $64,567 match from the federation and the contractor in the form of staff and volunteer work hours and services, respectively. NOAA and the federation announced the grant Tuesday.

Bree Tillett

Bree Tillett, a coastal specialist for the federation, said the grant also will help fund development of best management practices, or BMPs, to help make sure that existing and future aquaculture operations don’t leave behind gear that can harm marine life or litter waters, posing threats to boats or swimmers.

The concept is to develop a consensus on BMPs for shellfish aquaculture marine debris disposal and prevention, and to incorporate these practices into North Carolina Sea Grant’s shellfish growers’ required class for leaseholders, Tillett said.

Partners in the grant include Sea Grant, NOAA and the Duke University Marine Laboratory.

Tillett said the debris has been there for years in West Mouth Bay, off Guthrie Drive on the “back” side of the island, and at one point encompassed about 30 acres of water.

What remains of the abandoned operation, she said, is mostly PVC pipes and plastic mesh netting, some of which has washed ashore and into the marsh along adjacent property. Some of it is in sea grass beds, which makes removal difficult because the beds are prime habitat for naturally occurring clams and oysters.

All told, the effort is supposed to remove 250 cubic meters, or 8,829 cubic feet, of debris from public trust bottom, and remove 600 pounds of shoreline debris, which has been there since the mid-1990s.

“We are looking forward to getting it cleaned up,” Tillett said, because the gear poses at least a slight threat not only to fish and wildlife, but also to those who might use the area recreationally. Tillett stressed that the goal of the project is not to cast aspersions on the aquaculture industry, which some people increasingly see as a big part of the future of the commercial fishing industry in the state.

In fact, she said, the whole project is forward-looking; a big component includes an effort to develop those BMPs, working with the aquaculture industry and North Carolina Sea Grant.

The federation is also involving “new science,” by working with the Marine Conservation Ecology Unmanned Systems Facility, the drone program headed by David Johnston at the Duke Lab on Pivers Island in Beaufort, which will photograph the conditions before the cleanup and after.

Chuck Weirich

Chuck Weirich, a marine aquaculture specialist in Sea Grant’s office in Morehead City, welcomes the whole effort.

“Sea Grant is very supportive of this project,” he said. “It’s good work, a very proactive strategy.”

Weirich said he’s convinced that almost all who are involved in the relatively young but growing aquaculture industry in North Carolina are, and want to be, good environmental stewards, but conceded that as some projects develop and then some inevitably don’t make it, marine debris could become a problem in some cases.

“Right now, the industry is really very small and developing,” he said. “We here at Sea Grant believe in aquaculture, but we also see the need to ensure that those who are involved are good stewards. It’s something to keep an eye on in the future, and it will be good to see some guidelines developed. It’s important to avoid user conflicts and any other potential negative factors that could be associated with aquaculture.”

James Morris, an ecologist at the National Center for Coastal Ocean Science’s Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research at the NOAA lab in Beaufort, also supports the project.

James Morris

Although he’s best known for his research on lionfish, tiger shrimp and other invasive species in and near North Carolina waters, Morris’ work increasingly involves aquaculture, which NOAA has been pushing in recent years. Morris has publicly supported “good aquaculture” for some time, and has had a lease. In a paper way back in 2013, he reported on a study that evaluated the environmental effects of finfish aquaculture, including interactions with water quality, benthic habitats, or bottom of a body of water, and marine life across various farming practices and habitat types.

“We did this study because of concerns that putting marine finfish farms in the coastal ocean could have adverse effects on the environment,” Morris said then. “We found that, in cases where farms are appropriately sited and responsibly managed, impacts to the environment are minimal to non-existent.”

In the report, scientists, including Morris, said that “continued development of regional best-management practices and standardized protocols for environmental monitoring are key needs for aquaculture managers. As aquaculture development increases in the coastal ocean, the ability to forecast immediate or long-term environmental concerns will provide confidence to coastal managers and the public.”

Just a year or so ago, NOAA released an aquaculture plan, which its website says will guide efforts within NOAA Fisheries to support development of sustainable marine aquaculture from 2016-2020.

The plan, according to the website, “features four main goals: regulatory efficiency, science tools for sustainable management, technology development and transfer, and an informed public.” Other parts of the plan include strengthening partnerships, improving external communications, building infrastructure to support marine aquaculture and sound program management. The plan also sets a target of expanding sustainable U.S. marine aquaculture production by at least 50 percent by 2020.

The cleanup areas include sites on the “back” side of Harkers Island. Photo: NOAA

NOAA contends aquaculture is needed. “The U.S. imports over 90 percent of its seafood, about half of which is farmed,” the website states. “While aquaculture globally has grown dramatically over the past 30 years, in the U.S. production has remained low.”

Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA administrator at the time the plans were developed, is quoted on the website as saying that “aquaculture presents a tremendous opportunity not only to meet this demand, but also to increase opportunities for the seafood industry and job creation. Expanding U.S. aquaculture … complements wild harvest fisheries and supports our efforts to maintain sustainable fisheries and resilient oceans.”

As such, Morris said, it’s important that seafood farmers are good stewards, but also that others around realize that they are good stewards. And most, he said, are just that, because their very survival in the business depends upon clean waters.

He and Weirich agree that there are relatively few bad actors in the growing aquaculture industry, but it’s important the industry remains that way. There is still significant opposition to some projects, and any problems can exacerbate negative views.

Mesh netting is entangled in the grass at the site. Photo: NOAA

The BMPs, he said, can help develop a spirit of cooperation and respect among the “grower community” and those around them, and ensure that the mess left behind on Harkers Island is an isolated incident. The idea is for aquaculture in the state to grow in a sustainable way.

The cleanup itself, he said, provides a good opportunity for research, as those involved will be able to monitor the changes in habitat over time afterward.

Tillett, the federation coastal specialist, said there is also money in the grant to do some other marine debris habitat cleanup work not related to aquaculture, such as at Hoop Pole Creek in Atlantic Beach, where federation volunteers and staffers have worked many times.

Although it’s not a huge grant in terms of money, she said, a lot of good should come from it.

Steve Murphey, Habitat and Enhancement Section chief at the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, agreed it will be a good thing to see the area cleaned up. The division, he said, has now included a clause in its lease agreement to make sure that happens, should a leaseholder abandon a project or have his or her permit revoked, but that doesn’t address any existing problems.

Murphey also welcomed the idea of working BMPs into Sea Grant’s educational material, because the more gear that is used in such operations, the more opportunities there are for problems, regardless of best intentions.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2017 at 12:32pm

Instead of just a "clause" they should also include the requirement that the commercial lease holder post a performance bond.  A clause isn't going "to make sure that [cleanup] happens".   My grandfather used to say- "It's hard to get blood out of a turnip".  I don't believe the Division is going to get by with using CRFL monies to cover those non-compliant bankrupt individuals, just because "the gear poses at least a slight threat not only to fish and wildlife, but also to those who might use the area recreationally."

"Steve Murphey, Habitat and Enhancement Section chief at the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, agreed it will be a good thing to see the area cleaned up. The division, he said, has now included a clause in its lease agreement to make sure that happens, should a leaseholder abandon a project or have his or her permit revoked, but that doesn’t address any existing problems"

Note:  I'm not saying that CRFL money was used for this clean-up.  The article explains that the money is coming from NOAA with a match from The Coastal Federation.  I'm saying that in the future as Aquaculture grows, the use of CRFL money should not be considered.  If the DMF isn't going to insure clean-up through performance bond requirements then funding clean-up from the Commercial Fishing Resource Fund is logical...and it shouldn't take 22-years to clean-up an abandoned site.

On another Note:  We certainly shouldn't be spending any NCDMF budget to remove derelict fishing gear.  If NOAA wants to fund it, fine.  Any funds the Division has been spending should be reimbursed from the Commercial Fishing Resource Fund.

http://www.nccoast.org/2016/02/10391/

  • This project is saving the state money. It is estimated that over the past three years, Marine Patrol’s resources used during the cleanup (staff time, boat operation, travel, etc.) have been reduced by at least half as a result of this effort.



Edited by Rick - 28 December 2017 at 10:27am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2017 at 11:50am
No one here is more in favor of aquaculture than I am to feed the masses going forward, but NC did not develop a plan with input from all "stake holders" as the NCFA loves to say or these things would never have been put where they are.

And guys.....have you been wondering why Cooke had language put in all these new rules that says that any "wild fish that intermingles with their hatchery fish can be sold as hatchery fish".   

Why is that important?

Well, I'm not a commercial fisherman, and I'm not an engineer, but having spent hundreds if not thousands of hours on the water near pound nets in my life I can see something that others must have missed.

The "pound" in a pound net, is merely a fish pen so if I built a big metal fish pen and then put funnels leading in it with wings I could have the best of both worlds. I could raise the fish I put in the pound and with my funnels I could turn wild fish into my pens when my brood got large enough to not be prey....say, every fall just as the migration began.

These guys are good! And it is becoming more and more evident that the pens are going to be used in shallow water and more than likely for flounder. And the large mesh boys thought the CCA was the bad guy....they need to look NCFA leadership in the eye because there is where they have been sold out, and now that the NCFA is trying to change their image with the use of sympathetic figures they may get away with it too.

The image you see here is the image that Tred Barta has now agreed to bring to NC while at the same time trying to say he is enamored with the beauty of the wild.   For all the good he has done, he is now advocating these type of changes for his new home, and this new view for his new neighbors. Best I not say any more!

Oh...LCG....not only are these places harder to fish, legally with the new type leases you can't even try to fish there. The "leases" are "water column" leases and thus keep everyone off but the lessee off the entire column and according to one attorney I have talked with the leases tie up the water column even if there is no ongoing Mari culture operation in progress. Hopefully that is wrong, but according to him that is the way it reads.

Edited by Ray Brown - 28 December 2017 at 12:20pm
Shrimp trawling never stops in Pamlico Sound. It just pauses on the weekend so crabs can remove the dead and dying from the battlefield.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2017 at 1:37pm
http://ncfish.org/2017/12/tred-barta/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Redfisher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2017 at 3:25pm
Wow.  

Liberals are taking over and farmers/commercial fisherman work hard and are hero's.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2017 at 3:32pm
The far right are coming together.

As a descendant of true farmers I find the analogy involving farmers and wild caught fishermen totally insulting.   It is to farming what foraging was to farming. Foraging is hit or miss, never sustainable in the history of the world and with stock collapses today it still is not sustainable.   Aquaculture however, is. But we have to place it where it will work but not under the noses of those who will appreciate it. Ever wonder why hog and poultry farms aren't downtown?   Same reason we need aquaculture to be where people aren't.
Shrimp trawling never stops in Pamlico Sound. It just pauses on the weekend so crabs can remove the dead and dying from the battlefield.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 23Mako Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 December 2017 at 10:24am
I agree Ray. I am also tired of hearing how hard commercial fishermen work. 

I know plenty of people in a variety of occupations who work their a$$es off. They don't mention it when someone asks about what they do. Seems like we always hear about the "hard working commercial fishermen" who "strive to put food on the table". Well welcome to life. It's no different for anyone else! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FLOUDERMN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 December 2017 at 3:01pm
Originally posted by 23Mako 23Mako wrote:

I agree Ray. I am also tired of hearing how hard commercial fishermen work. 

I know plenty of people in a variety of occupations who work their a$$es off. They don't mention it when someone asks about what they do. Seems like we always hear about the "hard working commercial fishermen" who "strive to put food on the table". Well welcome to life. It's no different for anyone else! 
Let me put you my deck for 20hrs a day 4hrs off but get woke up 30min early so by the time you do lay down you might get 3hrs a sleep for 10-12 days straight in the middle of summer nothing but cutting scallops and digging threw piles of sand and starfish and sand dollars giving 110% all day everyday.It is diffirentWink 
18 PRIVATEER 26ft Willis Harkers Island 27ft Broadwater                 commercial fishing support it or import it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FLOUDERMN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 December 2017 at 3:28pm
And Ray we have known all this since they bought out Wanchese Fish from the very start.We know they don't give 2 cents about our local waterman or sportsman.Just remember they can buy anything they want and will. 
18 PRIVATEER 26ft Willis Harkers Island 27ft Broadwater                 commercial fishing support it or import it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 December 2017 at 8:32pm
You guys need to vote out those that sold you out
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bakesta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2017 at 3:25pm
Originally posted by TomM TomM wrote:

You guys need to vote out those that sold you out


That was accomplished about 7 years ago.

We've since been sold out again.  Multiple times.


And we even voted out one of the sellers in 2016  - and marine fisheries votes probably helped do that - but the new boss appears to be the same as the old boss.


wash - rinse - repeat - wash - rinse - repeat - wash - rinse - repeat ......................Dead
"Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." --- Mark Twain
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2017 at 7:14pm
My reference was about coastal legislative reps and how they do not stand with majority of people they represent. They stand with the money- not with resource. New gov talks but is probably scared the legislature will change the law as usual is he does anything they don't like. Whet the hell do it-can't get much worse.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2018 at 10:44am
I 100% support true "farmers of the sea" when done right. I do think we have a "gold rush" push that needs to slow down just a little for proper oversight.

Below is an example of a current water bottom and water column lease out for public comment. I see a significant potential for conflict with both the current or future adjacent property owner and a devaluation of tax base for Onslow County if this lease contains water column mariculture production.

...but maybe not.  This is a large tract of land and maybe the owner is tied to the lease request.










Edited by Rick - 11 January 2018 at 11:39am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Glacierbaze Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2018 at 12:36pm
The few I looked at do not seem to touch the shore. Is there a minimum offset from shore, and do they have to leave access at both ends? 
"You can never elevate your own character by stepping on someone else's."

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