(a)  Eligibility

(1)           Only commercial fishing vessel owners whose vessels landed Penaeid shrimp (white, pink, or brown) in North Carolina during calendar year 2002 and who held a valid, current Commercial Fishing Vessel Registration (CFVR) during that year are eligible for compensation to offset economic losses due to the importation of foreign shrimp.  For the purposes of this section, vessel owner is defined as a person holding a valid, current North Carolina CFVR for a specific vessel reporting shrimp landings in North Carolina.

(2)           The Division of Marine Fisheries shall determine which commercial fishing vessels are eligible for economic assistance based upon verified shrimp landings in the state in 2002 as reported on North Carolina Trip Tickets.  For the purposes of this Section, verified landings are those legally made in North Carolina as recorded by North Carolina Trip Tickets which correspond to a specific vessel and reported landing dates.

(3)           Where ownership of a vessel was transferred in 2002, each CFVR holder shall be credited with landings based upon registration of the transferred vessel at the start of the day in which the landings were reported.

(b)  Process

(1)           Each vessel owner determined by the Division of Marine Fisheries to be eligible for economic assistance shall be notified by certified mail, return receipt requested, of his eligibility and of the total verified shrimp landings credited to him for the purpose of this program.

(2)           Any vessel owner claiming shrimp landings who does not receive an eligibility notification letter shall contact the Morehead City office of the Division of Marine Fisheries within 30 days after the published legal notice authorizing the economic assistance award. 

(3)           Each eligible vessel owner shall have 14 calendar days from the date of receipt of the certified letter indicated in Subparagraph (b)(1) of this Rule to return the form that is attached to the eligibility notification letter to the Division of Marine Fisheries completed and signed, indicating a decision whether or not to participate in the program.

(4)           Failure to return a completed and signed response form to the Division of Marine Fisheries within 14 calendar days of receipt shall be considered a decision by the eligible vessel owner to forego participation in the economic assistance program.

(5)           If a vessel owner claims additional shrimp landings, beyond those identified by the Division of Marine Fisheries, upon which to base his level of economic assistance, he must provide copies of North Carolina trip tickets with the signed response form to document his claim. The Division of Marine Fisheries shall evaluate such claims, and the vessel owner’s landings will be adjusted accordingly if the claims are deemed valid.

(6)           The amount of the economic assistance each commercial fishing vessel owner is eligible for shall be calculated by the Division of Marine Fisheries based upon each vessel owner's proportional contribution, in percentage, to the total weight of landed shrimp reported in 2002 on North Carolina Trip Tickets. 

(7)           No funds shall be disbursed until all landings disputes submitted in this program are resolved by the Division of Marine Fisheries, in order to ensure that all funds available for economic assistance are disbursed to eligible program participants. The total amount of funds designated for individual economic assistance shall be divided proportionally among eligible commercial fishing vessel owners who elect to participate in the program in a manner that will exhaust all funds for this purpose.

(8)           The Grants to Commercial Shrimping Industry for Economic Losses Due to Foreign Imported Shrimp Program shall terminate upon depletion of funds appropriated by the United States Congress to North Carolina for this purpose.

(9)           Twelve percent of the total funds shall be set aside for use by the Division of Marine Fisheries in settling appeals of the final decision on economic assistance awards.  Any unused funds appropriated for this program which may be held in reserve by the Division of Marine Fisheries for appeals resolution or administrative purposes shall, at the conclusion of the economic assistance portion of the program, be transferred to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture for use, in addition to any other funds transferred for this purpose, for marketing of domestically harvested shrimp. 


History Note:        Authority G.S. 113-226; 143B-289.52(d);

Temporary Adoption Eff. July 1, 2003;

Temporary Rule Expired March 27, 2004;

Eff. November 1, 2004.