143B-289.57. Marine Fisheries Commission Advisory Committees established; members; selection; duties.

(a) The Commission shall be assisted in the performance of its duties by four standing advisory committees and four regional advisory committees. Each standing and regional advisory committee shall consist of no more than 11 members. The Chair of the Commission shall designate one member of each advisory committee to serve as Chair of the committee. Members shall serve staggered three-year terms as determined by the Commission. The Commission shall establish other policies and procedures for standing and regional advisory committees that are consistent with those governing the Commission as set out in this Part.

(b) The Chair of the Commission shall appoint the following standing advisory committees:

(1) The Finfish Committee, which shall consider matters concerning finfish.

(2), (3) Repealed by Session Laws 2012-190, s. 4(a), and Session Laws 2012-200, s. 16(a), effective July 1, 2012.

(3a) The Shellfish/Crustacean Advisory Committee, which shall consider matters concerning oysters, clams, scallops, other molluscan shellfish, shrimp, and crabs.

(4) The Habitat and Water Quality Committee, which shall consider matters concerning habitat and water quality that may affect coastal fisheries resources.

(c) Each standing advisory committee shall be composed of commercial and recreational fishermen, scientists, and other persons who have expertise in the matters to be considered by the advisory committee to which they are appointed. In making appointments to advisory committees, the Chair of the Commission shall ensure that both commercial and recreational fishing interests are fairly represented and shall consider for appointment persons who are recommended by groups representing commercial fishing interests, recreational fishing interests, environmental protection and conservation interests, and other groups interested in coastal fisheries management.

(d) Each standing advisory committee shall review all matters referred to the committee by the Commission and shall make findings and recommendations on these matters. A standing advisory committee may, on its own motion, make findings and recommendations as to any matter related to its subject area. The Commission, in the performance of its duties, shall consider all findings and recommendations submitted by standing advisory committees.

(e) The Chair of the Commission shall appoint a Northern Regional Advisory Committee, encompassing areas from the Virginia line south through Hyde and Pamlico Counties and any counties to the west, and a Southern Regional Advisory Committee, encompassing areas from Carteret County south to the South Carolina line and any counties to the west. In making appointments to regional advisory committees, the Chair of the Commission shall ensure that both commercial and recreational fishing interests are fairly represented.

(f) The Chair of the Commission shall appoint a three-member Shellfish Cultivation Lease Review Committee to hear appeals of decisions of the Secretary regarding shellfish cultivation leases issued under G.S. 113-202. The Committee shall include one Commission member, who shall serve as the hearing officer, and two public members. One public member shall have expertise or other relevant experience in shellfish aquaculture, and the other public member shall have expertise or other relevant experience with respect to coastal property or property assessment. The Commission shall adopt rules to establish procedures for the appeals and may adopt temporary rules. (1997-400, s. 2.1; 2012-190, s. 4(a); 2012-200, s. 16(a); 2019-37, s. 6(a).)