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Committee To Tackle
Menhaden Fishing Issue
BY DOUG RUTTER
A committee of local beach town offi
cials, state agents and commercial fisher
men has been formed to work out an agree
ment regarding menhaden fishing off the
Brunswick County coast.
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission
established the committee at its meeting
Saturday, when it took no action on the re
quest of six towns to keen menhaden bests
away from their beaches.
Instead, the commission gave the com
mittee three months to work out a solution
that will satisfy town officials and men
haden fishermen who work each summer
along Brunswick's coast.
Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Hoi
den Beach, Long Beach, Yaupon Beach and
Caswell Beach had asked the fisheries com
mission to pass the same rules for Bruns
wick County that it approved last year for
parts of Dare County.
Those regulations require menhaden
boats to stay at least VA miles offshore May
1 through Sept. 30 and at least one-half
miic offshore Oct. 1 through Dec. 31.
Local officials requested the limits hop
ing they would reduce the chance of dead,
smelly menhaden washing up on their
beaches ? something town leaden see as a
threat to the summer tourist trade.
B 1 1 WOS HOt the i/ucfit c /j uiiy (jj ific tOwns itt StlUt
down the menhaden fishing industry ; but at the
same time we do not want the tourism in our
towns to suffer as a result of the menhaden
fishing industry^ ? John Altman. Long Beach Mayor
Although the request for local restric
tions was not granted last week. Long
Beach Mayor Joan Altman said formation
of the committee will not prevent the towns
from asking again in the future.
"It does not foreclose our opportunity to
do that at any time," Altman said. "How
well the agreement works will determine if
the towns approach the commission again."
The committee was asked to write an
agreement specifying how the menhaden
industry will act to prevent future fish spills
and respond to fish spills when they occur
in Brunswick County.
The committee will include representa
tion from the beach towns. Marine Fisheries
Commission, N.C. Division of Marine
Fisheries, menhaden industry and N.C.
The group's first meeting is tentatively
scheduled Sept. 21 at Brunswick Com
munity College in Supply.
Altman said it will probably take two or
three meetings for the committee to finalize
an agreement, which must be presented to
the Marine Fisheries Commission's finfish
committee no later than Dec. 2.
The agreement will address notification
when menhaden boats are working in the
area, assistance in cleaning up fish spills, re
imbursement for cleanup costs, use of foam
ing agents to reduce fish oil slicks and dis
tance the boats must stay from fishing piers.
Altman said she was not surprised by
the commission's decision to form a com
mittee, especially after a recent meeting of
beach officials and representatives of the
three menhaden companies that work off
"I think under the circumstances it was
an expected outcome. I will give this an op
portunity to work," Altman said.
"It was not the intent of any of the
towns to shut down the menhaden fishing
industry, but at the same time we do not
want the tourism in our towns to suffer as a
result of the menhaden fishing industry,"
The local move to regulate menhaden
fishing started at Long Beach, where offi
cials have documented five menhaden-re
lated fish spills in the past 10 years. The lat
est occurred in June.
Local beach officials say requiring the
boats to stay at least one half mile offshore
during the peak tourist season would lower
the risk of smelly fish washing up on the
Altman said the agreement isn't likely
to include policies on how close to shore
the menhaden boats may work.
"The fact that they are so close is part of
the reason we have the problems we do.
There's no other place for the fish to go
when there is a spill but up on the beach,"
Menhaden company officials say their
boats must work close to the beaches be
cause that's where most of the fish are.
More than two-thirds of the menhaden
caught off Brunswick County are within
one mile of the beach. The best season for
menhaden tishing locally is the summer,
which just happens to coincide with tourist
At an Aug. 17 meeting, menhaden com
pany officials said there are willing to give
notification when working off Brunswick
County and stay at least 750 feet from fish
They promised to use a foaming agent
to break up fish oil slicks if state environ
mental officials approve it.
Industry officials also said they would
reimburse the towns for any costs associat
ed with cleaning up fish spills, even if they
weren't responsible but happened to be
fishing nearby at the time of the spill.
Since the peak tourist season is just
about over, Holden Beach Mayor Gay At
kins said the committee and commission
will have time to work out a solution prior
to next summer.
"I know more about the industry than I
did," Atkins said. "I'm more sympathetic to
their problems, but ! don't see the benefit
we get in Brunswick County because we
don't have a plant here."
The only menhaden processing plant in
North Carolina is in Beaufort. The two oth
ers that work off Brunswick County are
based in Reedville, Va.
Planning Board Approves New
Zoning For Sunny Point
BY KRIl ' CARLSON
The Brunswick County Planning
Board has recommended a special
new zoning district for the Military
Ocean Terminal Sunny Point and
agreed to remove the property's cur
rent designation as a "heavy manu
In a vote of four-to-ooe, with
member Sue Franks dissenting, the
planning hoard agreed to ask its de
partment staff to come up with a
plan for a new "military installation"
zoning district for the ammunition
terminal located near Southport.
County Planning Director Wade
Home said he would try to have a
draft proposal for the board to con
sider in time for its nest mecti-5.
The change was made in response
to an application from Sabrina
Puckett of Moore's Creek Village,
who asked the county to remove all
zoning from Sunny Point because
the county cannot control land use
on a federal installation.
About 50 people, mostly from the
Southport and Boiling Spring Lakes
areas appeared at a Aug. 17 public
hearing to voice concerns that the H
M zoning does not accurately re pre ?
sent current land use at Sunny Point.
Many insisted that maps designating
the area for heavy manufacturing
create a misleading impression that
the area is available for industrial
riurne and the planning sia?F ret
ommendcd against removing all
zoning from Sunny Point, insisting
that doing so would leave the county
unable to control development there
if the U.S. Army closes the giant
"The removal of zoning from this
facility could set a precedent for oth
er areas of Brunswick County and
would be detrimental to the county
as a whole," the planning staff said
in a written report. "No future con
trol of the area would exist, thus no
land use control of an area that
would be clearly suitable for an ex
tensive and possibly offensive in
Home said the question of zoning
at Sunny Point is more than a
""ncignoorhood or community is
sue." Designating the area for use
only as a military installation would
give the county time to decide how
the land should be used if the base
closes, since it is highly unlikely
that another military use would arise
Without zoning, the federal gov
ernment could sell its Sunny Point
holdings to an industrial developer
who would not be restricted in how
the property was used.
"You still have a deep water ship
ping port there with loading facili
ties and railroad lines and access
ro&ds and gas lines already in
place," Home said in an interview
before the meeting. "You tell me
Drug Squad Nabs Leland Woman In Prostitution Stina
Responding to complaints from
local residents, the Brunswick
County Sheriff's Department nar
cotics squad set jp an undercover
operation Friday thai resulted in the
arrest of a 33-year-otd Leland wo
man on prostilliuw tliiiyr ? > T? '
Ten Lynn Crisp of Village Road
was charged with one count each of
engaging in solicitation for prostitu
tion and remaining in a public placc
while engaged in conversation offer
ing sex for money. Detective Li.
David Crocker said Monday.
"It seems to be an isolated prob
lem," Crocker said. "But v^e've been
having complaints from people say
ing they were being approached aod
ottered sex for money, so we decid
ed to do something about it"
What they did was send Detective
Election Board Meets Wednesday
The Brunswick County Board of 8 election, select applicants to be in
Elcctions was to meet at 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday in special session at the
elections office at the Bruns. County
Government Center at Bolivia.
Board members were to approve
the layout of the ballot for the Nov.
terviewed for a secretarial position
and approve minutes of past meet
ings, said Lynda Britt, supervisor of
Meetings of the board are open to
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John Ingram into a Lciand conve
nience store where many of the
complaints originated. At about 8:50
p.m., Crocker said Ingram was ap
proached by Crisp and offered sex
"She even consummated the deal
by going inside and buying ? pack
age of condoms," Crocker said.
Later that evening, with assis
tance from the Lei and Police De
partment, the narcotics squad set up
a roadway check station where three
suspects were arrested on misde
meanor charges of marijuana pos
session and possession of drug para
phernalia, Crocker said. Two people
were charged with driving while im
p?.,ed by alcohol and 21 other traf
fic citations were issued.
One suspect fled the area and was
later apprehended on a charge of dri
ving with a revoked license, Crocker
The narcotics squad encourages
anonymous tips from anyone who
observes illegal drug activities in
their area. The squad can be reached
directly at (910) 253-4797.
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that's going to stay residential with
The planning staff also recom
mended that the county commis
sioners be asked to include future
proposals for zoning at Sunny Point
on the agenda for a "zoning overlay
study committee" that will review
land-use priorities throughout the
county. The commissioners have
voted to form the committee, but
have not yet agreed on its member
"This issue is of significant con
cern to the entirety of Brunswick
county and not only as a neighbor
hood or community concern," the
planning staff said in its report.
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