Last year marked the fifth year in a row that the amount of seafood caught in North Carolina has dropped. In 2007, commercial fishermen brought in 62.9 million pounds of fish and shellfish, an 8.5 percent drop from 2006.
While catch totals have dropped steadily over the last several years, the revenue has increased. The 2007 season brought in $82.3 million, a $12.2 million increase from 2006.
The director of the Division of Marine Fisheries, Louis Daniel, said that higher fuel prices may have something to do with the decreased catch weight. Daniel went on to say that fishermen were targeting higher-dollar catches and therefore bringing in a smaller quantity.
Atlantic croaker, summer flounder and bluefish landings were all down last year. However, due to the warm winter waters in the north, white shrimp harvest nearly doubled in 2007. Hard crab was once again the top commercial seafood catch last year bringing in almost $18.1 million.