NCWU was formed to react to the Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL). The charter boat industry was blindsided by this legislation and suddenly had to scramble to negotiate a license we could live with. I had no idea when I entered the fishing industry that I would need to worry about politics, but it has become a requirement. The working watermen of North Carolina must unite to have a strong and positive impact on future fishing laws and regulations for both state and federal government. Rom Whitaker, President 2005
NCWU, working with Legislators and the Environmental Defense-
Created the For-Hire License for charter and headboats that would cover the passengers for the day without violating the clients’ confidentiality. (No record of names and addresses).
Reduced the License fee for charter and headboats from a proposed $3000 - $5000 per year to $250.00 per year for a six-pack license (6 passengers) and $350.00 for larger, inspected vessels.
Placed the responsibility for fee dispersion to NC Wildlife Resource Commission (WRC) and the NC Division of Marine Fisheries. (DMF).
Negated the proposal that would have given the NCDMF Marine Patrol power to enforce the federal fisheries beyond the 3-mile limit.
OBJECTIVES OF NCWU
To promote and assist in the enactment and enforcement of laws and regulations that ensure the rights of watermen to continue the practice of harvesting the fisheries resource of North Carolina.
Work to encourage the maintenance of high standards of professionalism among the watermen of North Carolina
Engage in substantial public relations efforts to ensure that citizens throughout the state of North Carolina understand the problems, concerns and proposed solutions to these problems from the point of view of the professional watermen who work the waters.
Work to ensure, through political activity and public relations efforts, that watermen are represented, in reasonable numbers, on each committee, commission, advisory panel and regulatory board that will be involved in the regulation of and control over watermen and the resource that they harvest. Work to pass legislation that ensures the continued viability of both the charter and commercial fishing industries in North Carolina.
Work to ensure that all three user groups - commercial, charter/headboat and recreational fishermen - are fairly represented on any appointed committee/commission in any government financed plan whose intent is to enhance the state’s marine resources.
To be ever diligent in the evaluation of changes that may affect watermen, changes in the health of our resources, changes in the political climate in which we exist and changes in the economic realities affecting our industry, and with membership approval, to adopt appropriate strategies for the purpose of addressing new and emerging issues.