North Carolina legislature adjourns without passing aquaculture bill
The North Carolina legislature has ended its session without considering a bill that would have made it easier for Cooke Seafood USA and others to ramp up oyster farming in the state. Costal Review Online reported.
The North Carolina General Assembly had been preparing to vote on the Support Shellfish Industry Act, HB 361, which would have raised the cap for oyster permits in the Pamlico Sound, the US’ second largest estuary, covering over 3,000 square miles of open water behind North Carolina’s touristy Outer Banks. Permits would have risen from a combined 50 acres to 200 acres, allowing for larger scale operations. It’s a change being sought by the Wanchese Fish Company, a Suffolk, Virginia-based harvester and processor acquired by the Canadian Cooke family in 2015, among others.
However, the bill stalled after objections were raised by state shellfish growers to provisions allowing large area leases and out-of-state ownership, the newspaper reported.
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