State to File Fisheries Management Lawsuit in North Carolina Court of Appeals | New
RALEIGH – State officials are being called upon to appeal the latest petition in a lawsuit filed for alleged mismanagement of North Carolina’s fishery resources.
NC Attorney General’s Office appeals to NC Court of Appeal a lawsuit filed by the state branch of the Coastal Conservation Association. The complaint was filed last November and alleges that state officials have mismanaged coastal fisheries resources.
In January, the state filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but Wake County Superior Court Judge Vartan Davidian issued an order on July 28 dismissing the state’s petition. On September 1, the CCA announced that the state was seeking to appeal the decision.
NC Justice Ministry press secretary Nazeen Ahmed confirmed in an email to News-Times Tuesday, the case is on appeal. No hearing date has been set.
CCA-NC Executive Director David Sneed said the lawsuit was about “more than just the state’s continued allocation of destructive commercial fishing gear.”
“The 113-page complaint shows in detail how North Carolina’s coastal fisheries have suffered and declined under the state’s decades-old management approach of allowing maximum commercial exploitation of the resource,” a- he declared. “As a result of these and other failures to properly manage coastal fisheries, the state violated North Carolina’s constitution and the doctrine of public trust, a legal doctrine under which the state holds certain rights. natural resources in trust for its current and future citizens. . “
According to the initial November 2020 filing, the CCA-NC is asking the court to declare that the state has breached its obligations under the doctrine of public trust and to prohibit the state from committing further offenses.
In response to questions from News-TimesMs Ahmed said the state declined to comment “beyond what is available in public court documents.”
According to a May 27 response in support of the state officials’ nonsuit motion, state attorneys argue that the CCA-NC argument is “attacking a straw man” with its allegations, according to a May 27 response. which state officials claimed sovereign immunity from constitutional claims. They also argue that the doctrine of public trust has not been codified in the North Carolina Constitution and, even if it were, that would not force the state to regulate commercial fishing according to preference. from the Association.
“Regardless of the doctrine of public trust, the constitution still does not oblige the state to regulate commercial fishing as the complainants prefer,” a state official said. “Article I, section 38 protects the right of the public to engage in the act of fishing against encroachment by the state, but does not create any affirmative duty on the state regarding the conservation of resources … The article XIV, section 5 only sets out a retention policy, but does not create a self-executing mandate.
In February, the NC Fisheries Association, a nonprofit organization that supports the commercial fishing industry, filed a motion to intervene and supported efforts to have the lawsuit dismissed.
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email [email protected]; or follow us on Twitter at @mikesccnt.