State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_143B > GS_143B-289_54

§ 143B‑289.54.  Marine Fisheries Commission –members; appointment; term; oath; ethical standards; removal; compensation;staff.

(a)        Members, Selection. – The Marine Fisheries Commission shallconsist of nine members appointed by the Governor as follows:

(1)        One person actively engaged in, or recently retired from,commercial fishing as demonstrated by currently or recently deriving at leastfifty percent (50%) of annual earned income from taking and selling fisheryresources in coastal fishing waters of the State. The spouse of a commercialfisherman who meets the criteria of this subdivision may be appointed underthis subdivision.

(2)        One person actively engaged in, or recently retired from,commercial fishing as demonstrated by currently or recently deriving at leastfifty percent (50%) of annual earned income from taking and selling fisheryresources in coastal fishing waters of the State. The spouse of a commercialfisherman who meets the criteria of this subdivision may be appointed underthis subdivision.

(3)        One person actively connected with, and experienced as, alicensed fish dealer or in seafood processing or distribution as demonstratedby deriving at least fifty percent (50%) of annual earned income fromactivities involving the buying, selling, processing, or distribution ofseafood landed in this State. The spouse of a person qualified under thissubdivision may be appointed provided that the spouse is actively involved inthe qualifying business.

(4)        One person actively engaged in recreational sports fishingin coastal waters in this State. An appointee under this subdivision may notderive more than ten percent (10%) of annual earned income from sports fishingactivities.

(5)        One person actively engaged in recreational sports fishingin coastal waters in this State. An appointee under this subdivision may notderive more than ten percent (10%) of annual earned income from sports fishingactivities.

(6)        One person actively engaged in the sports fishing industryas demonstrated by deriving at least fifty percent (50%) of annual earnedincome from selling goods or services in this State. The spouse of a personqualified under this subdivision may be appointed provided that the spouse isactively involved in the qualifying business.

(7)        One person having general knowledge of and experiencerelated to subjects and persons regulated by the Commission.

(8)        One person having general knowledge of and experiencerelated to subjects and persons regulated by the Commission.

(9)        One person who is a fisheries scientist having specialtraining and expertise in marine and estuarine fisheries biology, ecology,population dynamics, water quality, habitat protection, or similar knowledge. Aperson appointed under this subdivision may not receive more than ten percent(10%) of annual earned income from either the commercial or sports fishingindustries, including the processing and distribution of seafood.

(b)        Residential Qualifications. – For purposes of providingregional representation on the Commission, the following three coastal regionsof the State are designated: (i) Northeast Coastal Region comprised of Bertie,Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Northampton,Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties, (ii) Central CoastalRegion comprised of Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Hyde, Jones, and PamlicoCounties; and (iii) Southeast Coastal Region comprised of Bladen, Brunswick,Columbus, New Hanover, Onslow, and Pender Counties. Persons appointed undersubdivisions (1), (2), (3), (4), and (8) of subsection (a) of this sectionshall be residents of one of the coastal regions of the State. The membershipof the Commission shall include at least one person who is a resident of eachof the three coastal regions of the State.

(c)        Additional Considerations. – In making appointments to theCommission, the Governor shall provide for appropriate representation of womenand minorities on the Commission. The Governor shall make appointments to theCommission consistent with the restrictions of G.S. 113‑200(g).

(d)        Terms. – The term of office of members of the Commission isthree years. A member may be reappointed to any number of successive three‑yearterms. Upon the expiration of a three‑year term, a member shall continueto serve until a successor is appointed and duly qualified as provided by G.S.128‑7. The term of members appointed under subdivisions (1), (4), and (7)of subsection (a) of this section shall expire on 30 June of years evenlydivisible by three. The term of members appointed under subdivisions (2), (5),and (8) of subsection (a) of this section shall expire on 30 June of years thatprecede by one year those years that are evenly divisible by three. The term ofmembers appointed under subdivisions (3), (6), and (9) of subsection (a) ofthis section shall expire on 30 June of years that follow by one year thoseyears that are evenly divisible by three.

(e)        Vacancies. – An appointment to fill a vacancy shall be forthe unexpired balance of the term.

(f)         Oath of Office. – Each member of the Commission, beforeassuming the duties of office, shall take an oath of office as provided inChapter 11 of the General Statutes.

(g)        Ethical Standards. –

(1)        Disclosure statements. – Any person under consideration forappointment to the Commission shall provide both a financial disclosurestatement and a potential bias disclosure statement to the Governor. Afinancial disclosure statement shall include statements of the nominee'sfinancial interests in and related to State fishery resources use, licensesissued by the Division of Marine Fisheries held by the nominee or any businessin which the nominee has a financial interest, and uses made by the nominee orby any business in which the nominee has a financial interest of the regulatedresources. A potential bias disclosure statement shall include a statement ofthe nominee's membership or other affiliation with, including offices held, insocieties, organizations, or advocacy groups pertaining to the management anduse of the State's coastal fishery resources. Disclosure statements shall betreated as public records under Chapter 132 of the General Statutes and shallbe updated on an annual basis.

(2)        Voting/conflict of interest. – A member of the Commissionshall not vote on any issue before the Commission that would have a"significant and predictable effect" on the member's financialinterest. For purposes of this subdivision, "significant and predictableeffect" means there is or may be a close causal link between the decisionof the Commission and an expected disproportionate financial benefit to themember that is shared only by a minority of persons within the same industrysector or gear group. A member of the Commission shall also abstain from votingon any petition submitted by an advocacy group of which the member is anofficer or sits as a member of the advocacy group's board of directors. Amember of the Commission shall not use the member's official position as amember of the Commission to secure any special privilege or exemption ofsubstantial value for any person. No member of the Commission shall, by themember's conduct, create an appearance that any person could improperlyinfluence the member in the performance of the member's official duties.

(3)        Regular attendance. – It shall be the duty of each member ofthe Commission to regularly attend meetings of the Commission.

(h)        Removal. – The Governor may remove, as provided in G.S. 143B‑13,any member of the Commission for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance.

(i)         Office May Be Held Concurrently With Others. – The officeof member of the Marine Fisheries Commission may be held concurrently with anyother elected or appointed office, as authorized by Article VI, Section 9, ofthe Constitution of North Carolina.

(j)         Compensation. – Members of the Commission who are Stateofficers or employees shall receive no per diem compensation for serving on theCommission, but shall be reimbursed for their expenses in accordance with G.S.138‑6. Members of the Commission who are full‑time salaried publicofficers or employees other than State officers or employees shall receive noper diem compensation for serving on the Commission, but shall be reimbursedfor their expenses in accordance with G.S. 138‑6 in the same manner asState officers or employees. All other Commission members shall receive perdiem compensation and reimbursement in accordance with the compensation rateestablished in G.S. 93B‑5.

(k)        Staff. – All clerical and other services required by theCommission shall be supplied by the Fisheries Director and the Department.

(l)         Legal Services. – The Attorney General shall: (i) act asattorney for the Commission; (ii) at the request of the Commission, initiateactions in the name of the Commission; and (iii) represent the Commission inany appeal or other review of any order of the Commission. (1997‑400, s. 2.1; 1998‑225, ss. 1.6, 1.7; 2001‑213,s. 5.)