The limit on summer flounder allowed into North Carolina ports is down 20 percent from just two years ago. But when ships come in, there's little time for a fish packer to ponder fish philosophy.
The captain of "The Cowboy" has chased his latest flatfish catch all the way from New Bedford, Massachusetts, to find a willing buyer at the Wanchese Fish Company. He'll spend $7000 to gas up and get back, and he hopes his paycheck won't run out of steam.
Last summer, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission downgraded the summer flounder from recovering to concerned. While the ocean stock is not over-fished itself, there have been reports of over-fishing along the East Coast, as crews struggle to keep their heads above water.