Federal fishing bans have local fisherman reeling
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The oyster season lasts from October to March. Commercial fishermen like Jerry Edens count on those six months to make a living. Eden said this season's been tough because of all the rain. "Anytime we get an inch and a half of rain, they close it, and most of November it's been closed because we've had a lot of rain. Thanksgiving week is our best week, and it was closed about the whole week, and it takes a lot of money out of our pockets," Eden said. The Division of Marine Fisheries bans shell fishing whenever heavy rain leads to too much runoff and pollution in our waterways. Restrictions prohibit harvesting or selling oysters, clams, and mussels until tests show the water has cleared. In our area, the ban stretches from the Intracoastal Waterway to the mainland between Surf City Bridge and Snow's Cut, and from Southport to the South Carolina state line. The Division of Marine Fisheries also has an emergency sixth-month ban on red snapper fishing starting January 4th. Regulators hope the ban will replenish depleted stock. The bans don't end there. Marine fisheries typically ban grouper fishing for two months during the grouper spawning period. But for the first time, this no-fish period will last four months - from January to May; something commercial fisherman Tom Ronner doesn't feel is necessary. "There's more gag grouper now than there was 10 years ago. I've had a federal permit for 14 years and I'd say they've taken a couple of measures that have helped and I think they've helped a lot, but now it's time to let us go fishing," Ronner said. Commercial flounder fishing in certain waterways closed December 1st. The Division of Marine Fisheries made an exception for flounder caught in pound nets. That has extended through December 15th. All flounder fishing will resume in the New Year. The captain of marine patrol told WWAY they hope to re-open shell fishing next week, but it all depends on the weather.

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Well as long as the shrimp boats are allowed practically on the beach where they cull their shrimp (which are going to die anyway)before the fish and turtles and rays and sharks ...need I go on... there won't be anything left for our kids and grandkids. Same thing with the pogie boats. I believe the statistics are that only 5% of fisherman in NC are commercial, but yet they account for 99% of the fish caught. I'm all for the bans, but doesn't it make more sense to regulate the commercial fisherman than the average fisherman?
Wasn't there already a red snapper band that is almost a year. Now they are saying there is another ban on red snapper starting Jan 4th. Guess people are going to stop eating that fish. I wonder if the facts are real to support the fishing ban like global warming. You know the hacked emails from the scientist that were lying about global warming.
They need to shut down all fishing for at least a year. The ban should be longer, but it will never happen. I grew up deep sea fishing and every year it gets worse and worse. The guys who says there are more gag grouper that ten years ago is full of it. I would hate to not be able to fish for a year, but I would also like my kids to be able to fish this area and actualy catch something. A complete and total ban on all fishing is the only way to let our waters heal from the damage they've taken over the past 50 years.
One of my greatest joys as a child growing up here was going fishing in the surf with my Grandfater and Father. It did not matter what time of year or what time of day... You always caught fish... The species differed, but there were always fish... Now as an adult, I have to take the boat out to go fishing.. There is little to none of anything worth catching in the surf.. Period.. And yes I am doing it correctly... The seas ARE over-fished... I would rather go wouthout for a couple of years, and then have plenty after that... Would it effect fishermen? Yes, but after a long ban, they would prosp[er as thry did years ago... (The same thing can be said for all the commercial fishing boats that USED to be here growing up... They have left as well....)