Spoke to Representative Stiller today. Here is where things stand and what we need to do on the list.
The bill will be introduced in approximately 2 weeks. It will then be assigned to a Committee. Approximately 2 weeks from then we must show up at the Committe hearing in Raleigh and speak to the importance of the bill. The more of us that come to the hearing the better. If we don't show up and the bill appears to lack support, we won't make it out of committee and thus we're dead. The commercial interest will be there. Our entire effort is based upon everyone stepping forward and putting forth the effort to come to Raleigh and help make our presence known. We will give plenty of advance notice of when the meeting will be held. We have received many supportive comments/email/ect however now is where we must stand together as a group to evidence our committment to this effort. Please start making plans for this very important meeting.
The commercial interest have already hired a lobbyist who is making their rounds through the legislature trying to head off our effort. We expected this and our response has to be to have us, as the citizens, contact our Reps across the State and ask them to support our bill to stop commercial menhaden netting in our waters. The economic impact of our dollars associated with tourism and sportfishing is far greater than the economic impact of the commercial menhaden industry to North Carolina. The message to our legislatures is we need their support which therefore enhances the success of our coastal economy and thus the State's economy.
Money is a factor. We have raised some $$'s but if we had more we could hire our own lobbyist.If you are able to help out financially please do so. Any amount will help[for each $50 we'll send you a SAVE OUR POGIES tee shirt.] Make checks out to SAVE OUR POGIES and send to: SAVE OUR POGIES c/o Ocean Isle Fishing Center 65 Causeway Drive Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469