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Panels Recommend Denying Trawling Petition

Reprinted from the Outer Banks Voice

NEW BERN — A fleet of shrimp boats sailed up the Neuse River Tuesday and more than 1,000 people turned out for a hearing on a proposal that would place new restrictions on shrimp trawling in North Carolina’s coastal waters.

Five advisory committees meeting at the New Bern Convention Center voted to recommend the state Marine Fisheries Commission deny the rules proposed in a petition from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.

The petition asks the state to designate waters in the sounds and 3 miles into the ocean as primary nursery areas for various fisheries.

The proposal includes cutting the number of days shrimping is allowed in the sounds and Atlantic Ocean, the amount of time nets can be in the water and the size of equipment that shrimpers can use. It would also set limits for the first time on croaker and spot.

The votes by the Finfish, Shellfish/Crustacean, Habitat and Water Quality, Northern Regional and Southern Regional Advisory committees, which totaled more than 50 members in attendance, were almost unanimous against the petition.

But at least two committee members voted to recommend approval, Mike Wicker of Raleigh and Mark Gorges of Wrightsville Beach, who are also members of the Marine Fisheries Commission.

The commission is scheduled to vote next month at their quarterly meeting in Wrightsville Beach.

This story is provided courtesy of the Outer Banks Voice, a digital newspaper covering the Outer Banks. Coastal Review Online is partnering with the Voice to provide readers with more environmental and lifestyle stories of interest about our coast. You can read other stories about the Outer Banks here.

About the Author

Sam Walker

Sam Walker is the news director of Max Radio of the Carolinas and a staff writer for the "Outer Banks Voice."