2010 Commercial and Recreational Landings Inch Back Up

2010 Commercial and Recreational Landings Inch Back Up

ATLANTIC BEACH – 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.

“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. “Additional increases in fuel and commodity prices might have been expected to actually cause the numbers to decline.”

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.

Included in the commercial gains was an 8 percent increase in shellfish, shrimp and crab landings, bolstered by an 81 percent jump in oyster landings.

Oystermen sold more than 1 million pounds of oyster meats (196,661 bushels), with a dockside value of about $5 million, to North Carolina seafood dealers in 2010. The landings were 125 percent higher than the previous five-year average and corresponded to a 139-percent increase in the use of oyster dredges.

Division sampling indicates that disease-related oyster mortalities have been significantly reduced, compared to the past 20 years, and spat fall has been good, said division Central District Manager Mike Marshall.

“The oyster resource in western Pamlico Sound has rebounded at an amazing rate,” Marshall said. “Oysters are being caught in areas where they have not been found in thirty years. Every fisherman you talk to goes on about how fast the oysters are growing, which is key to getting the type of production we are seeing.”

Blue crab landings increased in 2010, as well. Fishermen sold 30.7 million pounds of blue crabs at the docks, a 2 percent increase from 2009. The landings had a dockside value of $26.5 million.

Blue crabs remained the state’s top commercial seafood in both pounds harvested and dockside value, followed by Atlantic croaker (7.3 million pounds), shrimp (6 million pounds), summer flounder (3.3 million pounds) and bluefish (3.2 million pounds).

-more-

-2-

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.

Recreational harvests rose from 13.6 million pounds in 2009 to 14.4 million pounds in 2010, according to the division’s Coastal Angling Program. The increased harvest corresponds to a 7 percent rise in the overall number of recreational fishing trips. However, fishing trips into federal waters (beyond three miles from shore) dropped by 18 percent.

“The recreational rise was due mainly to the poundage associated with the striped bass catches and the increase in bluefish landings,” said division Recreational Statistics Coordinator Doug Mumford. “The bluefish increase resulted from the increase in beach, bank and pier trips.”

The jump in ocean striped bass harvests likely resulted from more fish migrating into North Carolina waters during the past winter than in previous years, Mumford said.

“There was an overall shift in recreational fishing effort in North Carolina to trips that were less expensive,” he said.

Dolphin landings decreased by nearly 15 percent to 3.3 million pounds. Even so, dolphin remained the top recreational catch, followed by yellowfin tuna, up 48 percent to 1.2 million pounds; bluefish up 21 percent to 1.2 million pounds; ocean striped bass, up 239 percent to 711,184 pounds; and Spanish mackerel, down 35 percent to 579,638 pounds.

Recreational angler fishing trips rose by about 4 percent from piers and other man-made structures; by about 8 percent from the beach or bank; nearly 10 percent from guide and charter boats; and 9 percent from private vessels. Party boat trips decreased by 15 percent.

A full report of 2010 commercial and recreational landings statistics can be found on the division website at http://www.ncfisheries.net/download/2010_Annual_NC_Fisheries_Bulletin.pdf. For more information, contact License and Statistics Section Chief Don Hesselman at (252) 808-8099 or Do***********@nc****.gov.
_________________

2010 Commercial and Recreational Landings Inch Back Up

ATLANTIC BEACH – 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.

“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. “Additional increases in fuel and commodity prices might have been expected to actually cause the numbers to decline.”

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.

Included in the commercial gains was an 8 percent increase in shellfish, shrimp and crab landings, bolstered by an 81 percent jump in oyster landings.

Oystermen sold more than 1 million pounds of oyster meats (196,661 bushels), with a dockside value of about $5 million, to North Carolina seafood dealers in 2010. The landings were 125 percent higher than the previous five-year average and corresponded to a 139-percent increase in the use of oyster dredges.

Division sampling indicates that disease-related oyster mortalities have been significantly reduced, compared to the past 20 years, and spat fall has been good, said division Central District Manager Mike Marshall.

“The oyster resource in western Pamlico Sound has rebounded at an amazing rate,” Marshall said. “Oysters are being caught in areas where they have not been found in thirty years. Every fisherman you talk to goes on about how fast the oysters are growing, which is key to getting the type of production we are seeing.”

Blue crab landings increased in 2010, as well. Fishermen sold 30.7 million pounds of blue crabs at the docks, a 2 percent increase from 2009. The landings had a dockside value of $26.5 million.

Blue crabs remained the state’s top commercial seafood in both pounds harvested and dockside value, followed by Atlantic croaker (7.3 million pounds), shrimp (6 million pounds), summer flounder (3.3 million pounds) and bluefish (3.2 million pounds).

-more-

-2-

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.

Recreational harvests rose from 13.6 million pounds in 2009 to 14.4 million pounds in 2010, according to the division’s Coastal Angling Program. The increased harvest corresponds to a 7 percent rise in the overall number of recreational fishing trips. However, fishing trips into federal waters (beyond three miles from shore) dropped by 18 percent.

“The recreational rise was due mainly to the poundage associated with the striped bass catches and the increase in bluefish landings,” said division Recreational Statistics Coordinator Doug Mumford. “The bluefish increase resulted from the increase in beach, bank and pier trips.”

The jump in ocean striped bass harvests likely resulted from more fish migrating into North Carolina waters during the past winter than in previous years, Mumford said.

“There was an overall shift in recreational fishing effort in North Carolina to trips that were less expensive,” he said.

Dolphin landings decreased by nearly 15 percent to 3.3 million pounds. Even so, dolphin remained the top recreational catch, followed by yellowfin tuna, up 48 percent to 1.2 million pounds; bluefish up 21 percent to 1.2 million pounds; ocean striped bass, up 239 percent to 711,184 pounds; and Spanish mackerel, down 35 percent to 579,638 pounds.

Recreational angler fishing trips rose by about 4 percent from piers and other man-made structures; by about 8 percent from the beach or bank; nearly 10 percent from guide and charter boats; and 9 percent from private vessels. Party boat trips decreased by 15 percent.

A full report of 2010 commercial and recreational landings statistics can be found on the division website at http://www.ncfisheries.net/download/2010_Annual_NC_Fisheries_Bulletin.pdf. For more information, contact License and Statistics Section Chief Don Hesselman at (252) 808-8099 or Do***********@nc****.gov.

_________________

Share this article

What is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)?

The global conveyor belt, shown here, circulates cool subsurface water and warm surface water throughout the world. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is part of this complex system of global ocean currents.)

The ocean’s water is constantly circulated by currents. Tidal currents occur close to shore and are influenced by the sun and moon. Surface currents are influenced by the wind. However, other, much slower currents that occur from the surface to the seafloor are driven by changes in the saltiness and ocean temperature, a process called thermohaline circulation. These currents are carried in a large “global conveyor belt,” which includes the AMOC.

AMOC stands for Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The AMOC circulates water from north to south and back in a long cycle within the Atlantic Ocean. This circulation brings warmth to various parts of the globe and also carries nutrients necessary to sustain ocean life.

Continue reading →

Read More

What is latitude?

Latitude lines start at the equator (0 degrees latitude) and run east and west, parallel to the equator. Lines of latitude are measured in degrees north or south of the equator to 90 degrees at the North or South poles.

Lines of latitude, also called parallels, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run east to west, but measure your distance north or south. The equator is the most well known parallel. At 0 degrees latitude, it equally divides the Earth into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. From the equator, latitude increases as you travel north or south, reaching 90 degrees at each pole.

Continue reading →

Read More

What is longitude?

Lines of longitude, also called meridians, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run north to south from pole to pole, but they measure the distance east or west. Longitude is measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds. Although latitude lines are alway equally spaced, longitude lines are furthest from each other at the equator and meet at the poles. A transcript is available that describes this infographic content in plain text. (Image credit: iStock)

Lines of longitude, also called meridians, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run north to south from pole to pole, but they measure the distance east or west.

The prime meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England, has a longitude of 0 degrees. It divides the Earth into the eastern and western hemispheres. The antimeridian is on the opposite side of the Earth, at 180 degrees longitude. Though the antimeridian is the basis for the international date line, actual date and time zone boundaries are dependent on local laws. The international date line zigzags around borders near the antimeridian.

Continue reading →

Read More

What is a barrier island?

Satellite image of Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory.

Barrier islands form as waves repeatedly deposit sediment parallel to the shoreline. As wind and waves shift according to weather patterns and local geographic features, these islands constantly move, erode, and grow. They can even disappear entirely.

They are generally separated from the mainland by tidal creeks, bays, and lagoons. Beaches and sand dune systems form on the side of the island facing the ocean; the side facing the shore often contains marshes, tidal flats, and maritime forests. These areas are important habitat for seabirds, fish and shellfish, and and nesting sea turtles.

Continue reading →

Read More
Keep Reading