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Division of Marine Fisheries seeks shrimp advisers

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is looking for commercial and recreational fishermen, scientists, representatives of non-government organizations, and other interested parties to sit on a Shrimp Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee.

The committee will join the division in a workshop over several days in Spring 2021 to develop Amendment 2 to the N.C. Shrimp Fishery Management Plan. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the workshop will be held via webinar.

Amendment 2 will examine management strategies to further reduce bycatch of non-target species in the shrimp trawl fishery, habitat protections, as well as potential changes to existing shrimp management. Topics under review include effort controls (e.g., fishing day restrictions, headrope limits, etc.) and shrimp trawl area restrictions for both habitat protections and potential reductions in bycatch.

The division is looking for a cross-section of those representing the various commercial and recreational shrimp fisheries, including those who fish with large trawlers, small trawlers, skimmer trawlers, channel nets, shrimp pots, and cast nets. The division would also like to seat scientists with expertise in the areas of habitat or bycatch and gear innovation, especially with trawls and bycatch reduction devices, as well as other individuals interested in shrimp fishing issues.

To be qualified to serve on the committee, applicants may not have had a significant fisheries violation within the past three years.

Since all meetings will held online via webinar, individuals interested in serving are strongly encouraged to have access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone with an internet connection.     Individuals interested in serving as an adviser should be available to attend and actively participate in the workshop tentatively scheduled for March 2021. This will include reviewing scientific documents and issue papers and providing input to the division on refining management options in draft Amendment 2. Workshop-style meetings allow scientists, managers, and stakeholders on the committee to address questions, comments, and concerns more effectively and in a less formal setting.

Advisers who complete the necessary paperwork will be reimbursed for expenses incurred in relation to their official duties.

Adviser applications are available online here or at Division of Marine Fisheries’ offices or by calling 252-808-8022 or 800-682-2632. Applications should be returned by Jan. 5, 2021 by email to Dana.Gillikin@ncdenr.gov or by mail to: N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557, Attention: Dana Gillikin.