"Surprise Increase" Reported For NC Seafood Harvests

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries says North Carolina commercial seafood harvests rose in 2010. The increase was slight--just 4 percent, but good enough to bring the harvests to their highest level since 2005.

The Division of Marine Fisheries also reports recreational harvests were up 6 percent, following a 15 percent decline in 2009.

“The increase is a surprise considering increased regulations, including many seasonal closures, imposed by the federal councils and the National Marine Fisheries Service, as well as restrictions from the sea turtle lawsuit settlement,” said N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director Louis Daniel in a press release. “Additional increases in fuel and commodity prices might have been expected to actually cause the numbers to decline.”

The value of the fish and shellfish brought in in 2010 was $80 million, according to the division’s Commercial Trip Ticket Program. The commercial fishermen brought in 72 million pounds of fish and shellfish.

The increased harvest came with a 3 percent decrease in the number of commercial fishing trips.

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