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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s seafood harvest is dropping.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries said the state’s fish and shellfish harvest dropped last year to the lowest level in a decade.

The agency said the 50 million pounds of fish and shellfish brought in last year was down 12 percent from 2012. The total was 21 percent less than the five-year average haul.

About 21 million pounds of blue crabs were brought in last year, compared with 27 million pounds in 2012.

The value of the catch was up 9 percent from 2012.

Experts say there are fewer fishermen and they face rising fuel costs. Weather has created problems at Oregon inlet and new regulations have put some fish off limits.

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