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NC fishermen battle potential trawling ban

Posted July 30, 2013

Dozens of fishing trawlers anchored along the riverfront in New Bern on July 30, 2013, in opposition to a petition before the state Marine Fisheries Commission that could end shrimping in coastal waters.
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— Dozens of fishing trawlers anchored along the riverfront in New Bern on Tuesday in opposition to a petition before the state Marine Fisheries Commission that could end shrimping in coastal waters.

The commission is being asked to declare the waters of North Carolina sounds as secondary nursery areas for fish, which would make them off-limits for commercial trawling.

More than 800 people packed the New Bern convention center for a public hearing on the proposal, and the crowd was overwhelmingly commercial fishermen. Petition backers say the move is necessary for the survival of many coastal fish species, but many fishermen say it would put them out of business.

Petitioner Tim Hergenrader said about 4.5 pounds of fish are killed for every pound of shrimp harvested.

"The effect would be to reduce the amount of by-catch taken by the trawlers. By-catch is the collateral damage of the shrimping industry," Hergenrader said.

"Every penny of every dollar I’ve ever made in my life has come from the water," commercial fisherman Kenny Lewis said. "I’ve never made nothing on the land, never got a decent job on the land. It’s always the water fed me, and if you take that from me, somebody is going to have to feed me."

The commission could vote on the proposal next month at a meeting in Raleigh.

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  • beachman Jul 31, 2013

    To be honest Over 80% of seafood consumed in the U.S. and is imported. Of all imported seafood, approximately 50% is farm-raised. Most of the fish and seafood consumed in the U.S. is farm-raised.
    Following is a list of farm-raised fish and seafood: tilapia (100% farm-raised), catfish (100% farm-raised), salmon (60% farm-raised), shrimp (90% farm-raised), clams, scallops, oysters, mussels, abalone, red drum, hybrid striped bass, rainbow trout, crawfish, yellow perch, largemouth bass and bluegill bream, flounder, black sea bass, queen conch, eel, cobia, carp, barramundi, soft-shell blue crabs, sturgeon and caviar, sushi nori and other sea vegetables.Sources: Seafood Health Facts, NOAA Fishwatch, USDA Economic Research Service, About Seafood, U.S. Census Bureau, N.J. Department of Agriculture, USDA-National Institute Food/Agriculture, NOAA Office of Science and Technology. Just my 2 cents worth!

  • paradiselost Jul 31, 2013

    'if you take that from me somebody is going to have to feed me". Wow! Really? When I was living and going to school in Wilmington I always though I would live near the ocean and do all the things I loved. Well my first job offer required me to move to Charlotte. Hmmm, work and support my family or make minimum wage just to indulge my desire to be near the ocean. 25 years later I'm still inland but I contribute to society, not burden it. And you locals have the nerve to call us who don't live at the coast the undesirables. You sure like our money though!

  • ripetomatoes Jul 31, 2013

    Every penny of every dollar I’ve ever made in my life has come from the water," commercial fisherman Kenny Lewis said. "I’ve never made nothing on the land, never got a decent job on the land. It’s always the water fed me, and if you take that from me, somebody is going to have to feed me."

    That's a poor attitude that I'll bet your Dad didn't pass down to you.

    With the work ethic required to be a commercial fisherman, you will thrive wherever you are.

  • paradiselost Jul 31, 2013

    I get mine from Harris Teeter. Many would be surprised to know that much of what is advertised as "local caught" served at restaurants in coastal communities is from other places including imported. I know this as a fact.

  • paradiselost Jul 31, 2013

    Rollin- I've lived here and fished here all my life. Not a PETA member or CCA. I don't have to join an organization to do my homework and make informed decisions. This isn't the early 1900's when whale fat and shark liver was boiled for oil. If more effort was put into ideas such as aquaculture instead of hanging on to the notion that my Daddy and his Daddy and the rest of your family fished and it's our God given right. Doesn't matter if we destroy the resource in the process. Commercial fishing is dying, has been for years. Accept it.

  • go fish Jul 31, 2013

    I grew up in a Commercial Fishing family and community on the coast and fully intended for that to be my profession when I was growing up. But even back then (mid 80's) it was very difficult to actually make a living at it and after a couple of years I had to move on to something else. That said, I still fully support those individuals. Sadly they are getting paid the same thing now (~$2 per pound) that I was getting when I stopped, and costs have gone up dramatically. I have also seen the related decline in the number of children in schools, churches, etc as young families have had to move away from their ancestral homes. I put this primarily down to cheap foreign imports, but part of it is this domestic-inflicted pain from people who are more concerned with their leisure pastimes than the basic lives of hard working commercial fisherman. The number of inshore shrimpers peaked in the 60's and has been in decline since. To try to say that it is some new burning issue is ridiculous.

  • perseusomega9 Jul 31, 2013

    I bet everyone that has posted is either a PETA advocate or has no problem going to Kroger and buying shrimp to enjoy.-Rollin Like PDoobie

    Or maybe they, unlike you, can see the writing on the wall...er water

  • streetfightinman Jul 30, 2013

    Rollin Like PD'
    I have been fishing for 40 years at the beach, answer a question for me, what do commercial fisherman do to preserve the fishing or shrimping industry in NC! A farmer tends his land cultivates it, fertilizes it, takes care of it for future generations, just tell me what they do to preserve commercial fishing!
    Texas ,Florida, Ect, banned shrimping in the estuaries,or sounds
    and fishing is 100% better and only took 3 years, fishing in nc
    has declined every year and size limits on fish keep going up fishing in nc is terrible, You guys are shooting yourselves in the foot if you don't protect the resource. You can't keep taking and taking and expect it to last forever!

  • westernwake1 Jul 30, 2013

    The war on commercial fishermen continues...

  • Rollin Like PDoobie Jul 30, 2013

    Rebelyell55 - It is already limited to certain months! Good lord people......you may as well join PETA and drain our taxpayers of more funds because of your unrealistic beliefs. I grew up on the water and was raised by a father that made his living commercial fishing. He has since retired becasue of folks like you that have destroyed his livelihood. Dairy farmers next? The problem is that NC and many other states will pass out a commercial license to any person with enough money to pad someones pocket. Myself, as a long-time seaman, Captain, and commercial fisherman cannot afford to make a living doing what I was raised on and taught to do by my VERY competent parents because I CANNOT afford a license. This is due to the same greediness that you opponents are displaying in your effort to remove an entire culture from the face of the earth......disgusting! I bet everyone that has posted is either a PETA advocate or has no problem going to Kroger and buying shrimp to enjoy.

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