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North Carolina's 2010 Commercial Landings Inch Back Up

May 13, 2011

North Carolina's Division of Marine Fisheries recently released its Annual Fisheries Bulletin that contains fishery harvest statistics for 2010 for commercial and recreational fisheries.

A few highlights include:

  • North Carolina commercial seafood harvests rose slightly, by 4 percent, in 2010 to the highest level since 2005. The same was true for recreational harvests, which inched up 6 percent after a 15 percent decline in 2009.

  • Commercial fishermen brought in 72 million pounds of fish and shellfish, with a dockside value of $80 million in 2010, according to the division's Commercial Trip Ticket Program. That was a 3 percent increase from the previous five-year landings average of 70 million pounds. The increased harvest came with a 3 percent decrease in the number of commercial fishing trips. Commercial fishermen took 152,084 fishing trips in 2010.

  • While overall commercial finfish harvests remained consistent, with a slight 0.5 percent increase from 2009, Atlantic croaker and bluefish harvests increased by 19 percent and 36 percent, respectively.
  • Southern flounder landings decreased by 29 percent. Much of this decrease can be attributed to a 45 percent reduction in flounder landings from gill nets. Regulations from a settlement in the sea turtle lawsuit may have contributed to the reduced gill net landings.

  • An overall 61 percent reduction in commercial dolphin landings corresponds to fewer dolphin-targeted trips made with longline and trolling gears last year. King mackerel landings decreased by 58 percent, corresponding to 65 percent fewer trips targeting king mackerel with trolling gear.

  • Tuna landings decreased, as well – yellowfin by 33 percent, bigeye by 43 percent and bluefin by 65 percent.

The full report can be found here.

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