An Open Letter to all Members of the NC General Assembly

I strongly oppose the Gamefish Bill.  The North Carolina fisherman is nearly an extinct species anymore and this bill will drive another nail in his coffin.  You have no right to tell the citizens of North Carolina that the resources in the water belong only to the tiny percentage of people who fish.  The commercial fishermen provide a healthy, delicious product that people want and if they don’t provide it, the only place we’ll be able to get it is from overseas, from places like China and Thailand, whose fish is not inspected and is often raised in crowded, dirty farms and doused with chemicals, antibiotics and pesticides.  It is shameful that 86% of our fish is already imported and the NC General Assembly has some members who want that percentage to be higher.

Not only are some members bent on depriving the citizens of this state, and the country for that matter, of a healthy, delicious product, they are destroying a way of life for many coastal North Carolina communities. And for what, so that others can catch a couple of more fish on their fishing trips?  Who is anyone on this committee (Marine Fisheries Study Committee) to decide which industries are winners and which are losers? Would you say to the North Carolina furniture makers that they cannot use any more wood in their product because the pulp industry in the state is more profitable than the furniture industry? Of course not. You have no right to choose winners and losers. When government picks winners and losers, we all lose.

If you support this bill, I strongly urge your to reconsider.  Sit down and talk to our fishermen, hear what they have to say.  You are being manipulated by the CCA who have an agenda that goes far beyond this bill.  Educate yourself.  Don’t be deceived.  I will happily help you arrange to meet with some of our commercial fishermen in Dare County so you can see firsthand the effects of an already over-regulated industry that is on the brink of extinction thanks to the CCA.

If you oppose this bill, I thank you for standing up for what is right, for educating yourself and thinking for yourself and for not choosing winners and losers.

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The Gamefish Bill, HB 353, is a bill that will classify several categories of fish as recreational fish only, preventing our fishermen from being able to catch them.  Read more about this bill here and here.  See how people in FL have been battling the CCA over these issues for more than a decade here.  It is really hard to find any opposition to this bill online.  The CCA dominates the blogs and the mainstream press stories.  You can help oppose this bill by emailing the members of the General Assembly below.

The Marine Fisheries Study Committee was set up to study this issue.  The committee met last week and will meet again on  February 2, 2012, March 1, 2012, and April 5, 2012.  Each meeting will begin at 1pm and end at 4pm in Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building.  CCA-NC will be a strong presence before this committee and will continue to provide deceptive data to the legislators supporting game fish legislation.

Our representatives in the General Assembly, Rep Spear (D) and Senator White (D) are on the Marine Fisheries Study Committee.  And Bill Cook (R), who is running against Stan White for the NC-1 Senate seat, has stated some support for the Gamefish bill.  You can email the committee members and Mr. Cook below:

Bill Cook, bill.cook@ncleg.net

Senate Majority Leader and Co-chair, Harry Brown, harry.brown@ncleg.net

Senator Don East, don.east@ncleg.net

Senator Thom Goolsby, thom.goolsby@ncleg.net

Senator Bill Rabon, bill.rabon@ncleg.net

Senator Tommy Tucker, tommy.tucker@ncleg.net

Senator Jean Preston, jean.preston@ncleg.net

Senator Stan White, stan.white@ncleg.net

Representative and Co-chair, Darrell McCormick, darrell.mccormick@ncleg.net

Representative Dan Ingle, dan.ingle@ncleg.net

Representative Ruth Samuelson, ruth.samuelson@ncleg.net

Representative Danny McComas, danny.mccomas@ncleg.net

Representative Bryan Holloway, bryan.holloway@ncleg.net

Representative Pat McElraft, pat.mcelraft@ncleg.net

Representative Tim Spear, tim.spear@ncleg.net

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