Public Comment on NOAA Fisheries’ Proposed Amendment 15
In May 2023, NOAA Fisheries released Amendment 15 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan: Spatial Fisheries Management and Electronic Monitoring Cost Allocation, in which Section F, “Electronic Monitoring Program,” Subsection F2 would transfer all costs of the existing Electronic Monitoring Program from NOAA Fisheries to the commercial fishing industry.
Under this proposed amendment, pelagic longline vessel owners would be forced to bear the full financial responsibility for all aspects of the electronic monitoring that is required on their vessels, including equipment, services, sampling and data storage of footage (of which only 10 percent of a set would be viewed). This transfer of costs from NOAA Fisheries to commercial fishermen would impose a devastating financial burden on local fishermen, many of whom are already struggling to sustain their operations due to the ever-increasing number of regulations that are being placed on the industry.
Draft Amendment 15 also establishes a cost of $280 per set, resulting in an estimated additional cost per trip of $1,700 on average—and accounting for approximately 19 percent of a commercial fisherman’s net profits per trip. If Draft Amendment 15 is adopted, this additional financial burden will likely put many local fishermen out of business, which ultimately threatens the overall sustainability of the commercial fishing industry that has served as an essential economic engine for Dare County for centuries
KDH Board of Commissioners Passes Resolution Opposing Draft Amendment 15
The Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to pass a resolution opposing Draft Amendment 15 to NOAA Fisheries 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan: Spatial Fisheries Management and Electronic Monitoring Cost Allocation.
Individuals who are opposed to Draft Amendment 15 are encouraged to express their concerns to NOAA Fisheries by submitting a public comment before the October 2, 2023 deadline. To submit a public comment to NOAA Fisheries, please click here.
Dare League of Women Voters is also sponsoring a Candidate Forum in support of your town government elections this November! They encourage citizens to both submit a question for the candidates before the Forum &/or attend the Forum in person and ask a question for the candidates at that time.