North Carolina Watermen United

Protecting Your Freedom To Fish

Protecting Your Freedom To Fish


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What's For Supper  (Second Edition)

 By Sharon Peele Kennedy


What's For Supper   By Sharon Peele Kennedy

2nd Edition

Sharon Peele Kennedy is from a family that goes back eight generations on the water.  She's a member of OBCatch and NCCatch.  She has a daily radio recipe 'show' that only features good, fresh, local NC seafood.

Wetland Riders

By Robert Fritchey



Wetland Riders is an uncompromising book that exposes the origin and early successes of a movement that threatens America’s seafood industry. Published in 1994, the book was so far ahead of its time that – now, 25 years later – it still is!


Let the Good Times Roll

By Robert Fritchey



Let the Good Times Roll – with a backdrop of Louisiana’s plentiful fisheries, vanishing wetlands and skyrocketing numbers of tourist anglers – lively blow-by-blow account of recreational anglers' successful campaign to ban the use of most fishing nets by the state’s commercial fishermen.


Three Books from New Moon Press

And How They’re Connected








Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

                                                                                 George Santayana


Wetland Riders

It was in the mid-1980s, more than 30 years ago, when a few entitled anglers brought the Gulf Coast Conservation Association (GCCA) to Louisiana. The group’s members had already made the red drum a gamefish in Texas, yet when word began to spread that they intended to do the same thing in Louisiana, Cajuns down the bayou where I lived always responded the same way, “They can’t do that!” After all, the redfish had been in commerce for more than a century.


To understand what was happening, I immediately joined GCCA and began to attend meetings. So I witnessed from the get-go how this group “educated” and organized the sportsmen into a political force. At one meeting, the executive director stated that GCCA was a “pyramid organization; everybody takes their orders from one man.”


That piqued my interest. Who was this man? Who were the other people who were taking control of our fishery? How were they accomplishing that? And why?


After the GCCA took away the redfish in 1988, I went bust, moved into a low-rent studio in the New Orleans French Quarter and started digging for answers. Those balconies in the Quarter? I painted a bunch of them!


The editors at National Fisherman polished my writing and taught me how to relate factual information in a professional manner. The magazine also rented a car for me and sent me to Texas to interview fishermen in the wake of that state’s net ban, the first on the Gulf Coast. While I researched and dissected the movement that was threatening our fishing culture, I tried several times to sell articles on the subject to magazines with a more general audience than National Fisherman. No Luck.


Like President Trump, with his tweeting, I figured out that you had to bypass the mainstream media and go directly to the public. So, I wrote my first book, Wetland Riders, to explain what was happening and try to win us some support. I founded New Moon Press to publish the book, and got it out just one month before the November 1994 vote in Florida. Industry leaders there used the book to educate newspaper editors. At least one paper reversed its editorial position on the proposed ban - from pro to con - but it was “Too little, too late.”


After Sunshine State voters approved the Florida Conservation Association’s anti-net measure, net ban fever swept the Gulf Coast.


The Gulf Wars Series is a record of that movement, and the e-book, Missing Redfish, is the first in the series.


Missing Redfish

 “Chef Paul Prudhomme’s blackened redfish recipe proved so popular with consumers that commercial fishermen nearly wiped out the species.” How many times has that statement been repeated in the media? But nobody ever asked, “According to whom?”

Increased demand for blackened redfish did prompt scientists in the federal government to conduct a first-ever assessment of the species’ population Gulf-wide. They found that the red drum had begun to go missing years before Chef Paul blackened his first redfish.

Management in the states simply hadn’t kept pace with the increasing effort by both sport and commercial fishermen.


The sport fishermen’s denial of any impact on the species enabled them to win exclusive access to the red drum in most states. But “gamefish” status didn’t satisfy the anglers; it only made them more possessive and susceptible to claims that commercial fishermen were taking “their” fish in nets.

So, Ban the Nets!


Missing Redfish will probably remain available as an e-book only, until NOAA conducts its next Gulf-wide stock assessment. Don’t hold your breath…


Missing Redfish e-book available at Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook Books and Apple iTunes.


Let the Good Times Roll

After Florida’s chapter of the CCA convinced voters to ban most net fishing, in 1994, the group played up the threat of an invasion of out-of-work net fishermen to the three central-Gulf states, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The solution CCA proposed was to ban the nets in those three states.


The battles raged through 1995 and beyond.


Since I’d fished commercially for years in Louisiana, I was most familiar with the issues there. So first, I wrote a history of the net ban battle in that state.


In Mississippi, panels of experienced and knowledgeable individuals resolved the dispute.


 In the Bayou State, politicians themselves addressed the issue. Louisiana’s Legislature would be the only one in the Gulf of Mexico to ban most commercial net fishing. CCA’s senatorial champion, as well as the state’s governor during the 1995 session, would both be jailed on corruption charges.


For the first time anywhere, I began to tally the loss to the public – in pounds of fish and in dollars – that followed Louisiana’s net ban. Such losses of renewable resources are cumulative, however, and add up as time goes on.



Scheduled for completion in a year or so, Double Jeopardy, will tell the story of how both Alabama and Mississippi dealt with the sportmens’ demands to ban commercial net fishing.


Alabama’s managers helped resolve the dispute in an equitable manner that allowed professional fishermen to continue working. The landmark compromise was hailed as the beginning of a New Age in fishery management.













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