NC Commercial Seafood Harvest Increases In 2008

North Carolina's commercial seafood harvest increased by 13 percent last year and nearly half of the haul was blue crabs.

The state Division of Marine Fisheries said Monday that the seafood landings of 71.2 million pounds in 2008 marked the end of a five-year decline in the seafood industry.

The division said more than 32 million pounds of the harvest was
blue crab. The crab accounted for $25 million of the $87 million total value of seafood. That was an increase of $4 million over 2007.

Division official Alan Bianchi said shrimp harvests were down 1 percent and that might be caused by last year's high fuel prices.

North Carolina's oyster harvest was up 5 percent, to 88,008

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