05/15/08 — Goldsboro's Ray Browna appointed to Fisheries Commission

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Goldsboro's Ray Browna appointed to Fisheries Commission

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on May 15, 2008 1:51 PM

Goldsboro businessman Ray Brown has been appointed to an advisory panel of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, a regional organization representing 15 states that oversees fishing regulations from Maine to Florida.

His appointment is for four years.

Brown was named to a committee overseeing the re-population of shad and river herring, key species in the food chain.

A moratorium on catching shad and herring has been imposed to reduce stress on the species.

"North Carolina's moratorium is hopefully giving our native run of river herring time to replenish, thus giving us all hope that within a decade the moratorium can be lifted at least for personal consumption and use," he said. "Ultimately I'd like to see a commercial fishery return as I saw in my childhood, but not until the resource can provide for it."

Brown worked with state officials to develop the moratorium, but said he believes he can better serve the state by being a member of the regional group since it controls a much larger expanse of waters.

The commission was formed in 1942 in recognition that fish do not adhere to political boundaries.

The commission's five main policy arenas are interstate fisheries management, research and statistics, fisheries science, habitat conservation, and law enforcement.

It focuses on responsible stewardship of marine fisheries resources and serves as a forum for the states to collectively address fisheries issues under the premise that as a group, using a cooperative approach, they can achieve more than they could as individuals.

Commission leaders say their goal is healthy, self-sustaining populations for all species along the Atlantic Coast or successful restoration well in progress by the year 2015.

In 2007, the Commission completed a benchmark stock assessment for American shad that indicated that most stocks are presently depressed or in decline. Another benchmark assessment of river herring populations in scheduled to be completed in 2012.