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Global warming could be affecting area fisheries

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- In North Carolina fishing is a multi-million dollar industry, but researchers say climate change is turning into a fishy situation off our coast.

Dr. Daniel Pauly has been studying the effects of global warming on our fisheries for the past decade and says we need to make a change before it’s too late.

“Fish are moving toward the poles because it's getting too warm for them,” said Dr. Daniel Pauly. “Many of the traditional fishing areas of these fish, and also fishing ground, are no longer what they were."

Dr. Daniel Pauly says he first heard the term global warming in 1989. Since that time he has studied its effect on over 30,000 fish species, and has come to a terrifying realization.

"This system has spread over time off shore and into deeper waters,” said Dr. Pauly. “This expansion fools us into thinking that things are fine because the market is supplied but actually it is more and more difficult to supply the market."

In North Carolina many game fish are regulated to ensure the long term vitality of the species. Dr. Pauly says this is a model that commercial fisherman worldwide need to sink their hooks into.

"The US is a country that manages its fisheries very well, at least in comparison with other countries, and stocks are bouncing back,” said Dr. Pauly. “Fishing is reduced so that it can bounce back. This is an example that must be followed in other countries."

But before you set sail searching for your favorite game fish along the Carolina Coast, Dr. Pauley wants to remind you that the future of the fish markets could depend on your catch and release.

"We don't want to have super profits in the short term we want to have the fishery maintained,” said Dr. Pauley. “That requires sometimes, and quite often, fishing less.

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