Governor Pat McCrory's proposed budget was filed in the House today and it brings a bad omen for the state's commercial fishermen, seafood dealers, charter boat owners and pier owners. The governor is asking for a 50 percent increase for all licenses related to commercial and charter boat operations. The increase includes boat registrations for commercial and for-hire vessels.
The proposal also, if adopted, would allow the Marine Fisheries Commission to establish gear permits and charge up to $200 for each type.
Pier licenses are proposed to be increased from 50 cents a linear foot to $7.50 per foot which would include allowing pier fishermen to fish without buying an individual license. And the blanket recreational fishing license is proposed to be repealed. The blanket license for charter boats would still be available. [This paragraph has been corrected; the earlier version that pier fishermen would have to buy an individual license.]
For a look at the proposed budget, click here.