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EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s coastal fishing regulator is rejecting a proposal that would have banned shrimp boats from trawling in the region’s rivers and sounds and forcing them into the open ocean.

The Marine Fisheries Commission meeting in Raleigh on Thursday unanimously dumped a petition seeking rules declaring most internal coastal waters as seafood nursery areas off limits to trawlers.

Supporters of the ban blame shrimpers’ massive nets for collecting and killing millions of fish in the inshore waters where juvenile sea creatures grow up. Only the New Bern man proposing the plan spoke on its behalf during the four-hour hearing.

Members of the fishing and seafood industries packed the meeting, warning it could lead to the loss of thousands of jobs aboard the shrimp boats and in related businesses.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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