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Report: Overfishing getting worse


WILMINGTON -- Overfishing is becoming more and more of a threat to Carolina waters. That's according to a report released Wednesday by Environment North Carolina, a statewide environmental organization.

Josh Jones from Environment North Carolina presented the findings Wednesday to a concerned local group that included fishermen and environmental advocates.

Jones says commercial and recreational fishermen alike need to be aware of the threat of over-fishing.

"We're trying to raise awareness so that people can contact their officials and get conversations going with these officials and say, 'We want to see over-fishing end,'" Jones said.

Recreational fisherman Gary Henderson said, "I've noticed a huge decrease in the amount of fish that are available. I've noticed a major change in the clarity of the water."

According to the report, four of 11 fish in our region are overfished and more are headed in that direction.

View the full report here (PDF)

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carolina beach charter sport fishing

look mom i got a commercial fishing boat now i can scoop hords of fish up and sell them for bottom dollar at wholesale ,who cares about sport fishermen let them suffer. this is true just got to carolina beach where the charter boats are docked and ask the charter captains what the fish population is like dimenshing fast low catch results they think its the weather making the fishing bad its the commercial netters .


The issue is that commercial fisherman outnumber the sports fisherman on the board that makes the decisions on limits, etc. While sports fisherman have all sorts of restrictions on them...COMMERCIAL GUYS are allowed to do DAMAGE upon DAMAGE upon DAMAGE to NC Fisheries. ASK ANY sports fisherman...and they will agree the commercial guys are OUT OF CONTROL!

Ask them

I'll just bet they will.

For years...

For years, the most influential biologist team member heading up the studies of the marine fisheries has been the wife of the senior member on the board. Kinda a money making proposition all around isn't it. And they both come from a commercial fishing families. Makes about as much sense as letting the fox keep watch of the henhouse for ya while you're not around. 9 out of 10 people that attend the meetings for the committies that make the rules and regulations are the commercial guys. Some even have to have cards to read from so they don't forget to ask or say what their employer wanted them therefore in the first place. Go to one, it will make you madder than hell. And if you're a rec guy be prepared to fight in the parking lot on the way out, the commercial bullies are a rough bunch. Sure the rec guys catch and keep some fish, but they spend millions here in this state to do so. Hotels, gas, gear, services, permits, and on & on... What do commercial guys do for the state except leave a smelly trail of greed and dead fish in their wake? Oh, I forgot, they line the pockets of the politicians. We need a Recreational Fisherman's Lobby Group for the support of our pursuit of happiness. The RFLG would be a great thing to start, charge a few bucks for membership and then looby for what we want out of our state marine fisheries! The king mackeral tourneys already bring millions to our state, let's preserve what we have and fight for what we stand to lose.

What do commercial guys do?

"What do commercial guys do for the state except leave a smelly trail of greed and dead fish in their wake?" Hmmmm......let's about these: They are a key part of our overall business environment, employing many North Carolinians at sea... They require fuel, provisions, equipment, and maintenance, thus assuring employment for many other North Carolinians.... They bring in a product that is enjoyed by millions and employs another large number of people in shipping, preparation and serving, or selling.... ...all of which means that commercial fishing provides the livelihood for thousands of North Carolinians, and generates one large catch of corporate and individual income taxes to the state. Both sides need to cooperate and respect each other's view to solve the problem of overfishing. Overly emotional statements that deny economic reality do nothing for the cause.

Money and fishing

I bet much more money is spent in the pursuit of recreational fishing than the rewards for the state as a whole from the commercial fishermen's catch. How can you think that a select few commercial guys should ruin everything for the rest of us? You just don't think farther than your nose, that's why. Like the tobbacco farmers, they have to make a living right? Make a living growing poison for the uneducated to partake of and die from later on in life. This is just a disgusting concept that makes no sense. They do something that costs us millions in healthcare and we have to let them do it. i don't buy that argument for a minute. So why should the rest of us that enjoy fishing let a few commercial fishermen ruin the states natural resource for all of us? Your argument that it is an industry that employs thousands is a dying trend. Less and less are doing it every day. They can't grow as an industry when there isn't anymore fish to be had. Stop spouting off about something you obviously have not put much thought into.


Maybe limiting all fishermen to only fishing 2 or 3 days a week would do it.

Sorry that FACTS upset you

Commercial fishing contributes between $88 million and $100 million to the GSP....and that's direct sale of catch. That doesn't even include the incidentals I mentioned. There are over 7,000 full-time commercial fishermen in this state. Let me state this once again, in different terms this time - the problem of overfishing is not going to be solved through adversarial confrontations, insults, and anger. If commercial and recreational fishermen do not respect each other's right to exist, there's no hope for any change, or recovery of stocks anytime soon.

you are clueless

Yep, that's profit DIRECTLY into the commercial fisherman's pockets. It's called greed. Where is you sources and degrees in science to back up your claims and what you say? Name some articles and dates when they appeared that support the fact that NC commercial fishermen do not overfish and are not devastating the spawning grounds of fish species that are sought offshore of NC... Your second paragraph doesn't even belong here? What the heck are you talking about?

Baby fish and commercial catch

If the backward facing idiots that are suppose to be protecting our marine fisheries were doing the responsible thing, they would know that the best thing to do is put all of the sounds and marine estuaries off limits to netting of any kind. Most other states have either caught on to this and done something or are managing the stocks in other ways with limited netting seasons in spawn areas. NC is the last place to come to it's senses and do something productive. Mostly because of the cohorts managing the marine fisheries are too busy scratching each others backs to notice what works. One of the most powerful lobbies out there in this state is the commercial fishers lobby and time and again they get exactly what they want. When the numbers were down several years ago they pressed for more catch limits and broader selling rules. They got them then, and again this year on red drum. They would cut their nose off dispite their face because they know that fishing in NC is a dying trend due to development to the northern yankees moving down. If you sell out/die out and don't care if their is nothing for your kids to fish for, why regulate it? Lumping rec anglers into the plan is just the silliest thing. It's the commercial guys catching everything, no holds barred.


Many of these threatened fish are regionally popular such as the snappers and groupers that have always been a part of Low Country seafood culture. But years of overfishing and the fact that some species are slow growing and late maturing have led to substantial declines. The South Atlantic Council by and large has followed the advice of its independent scientists in setting target catch levels but refused to impose absolute limits on the amount of fish that could be caught and landed. Instead, the Council relied on managing fishing effort with limits on fish size, fishing seasons, trip limits and the like. Clearly these tactics have not worked, and fish stocks keep declining. SNOWY GROUPER BLACK SEA BASS RED PORGY PINK SHRIMP ~~SEE THE CHART ABOVE

If you go to Environment

If you go to Environment North Carolinas website you will see that most of the people who work for them are non from North Carolina originally. Some are from up north. I'm sure that their report is biased. I don't understand why these crazy grassroots environmental groups like Environment NC and the NC Coastal Federation have so many people who aren't from NC working for them. Go back to where you came from and solve your problems there. Stop moving here and inventing problems. These groups are extemists, with botched unverifiable data.

problems solved!

Maybe, just maybe we solved our problems up north. Apparently they needed northerners to teach your NC enviromental people how to figure things out! DUH.....So sorry if it offends you, have you applied for a job there since your so smart??????? No invention here, part of life's cycle. It's people like you that make these problems.

Exactly! What 4 fish?

I specifically signed on to veiw this story after seeing the teaser before the 11 o'clock news last night. I hope the story on the broadcast was more specific. This is pethetic...who writes these stories. WHAT ARE THE FOUR FISH?


what fish are overfished? who made the report? i think this is another yankee group trying to impose new laws so they can have our resources to themselves, go home yankees,


Again you blame "yankees" for a report that was completed by Environment North Carolina and given to local fisherman and environmental groups. Time to take responsibility for your own actions and stop blaming others.

Dagum Yankees

Will you red necks ever stop blaming northerns for your problems.

Nobodys blaming yankees

Nobodys blaming yankees about "our problems." Yankees create most of the problems, and invent some of the problems.

What 4 Fish?

What are the 4 of 11 fish that are overfished? Isn't that a major part of this story? God, our news channels really suck.


Never have seen a commercial fisherman that thought about tomorrow.



Good 'ol Days

Remember the good 'ol days when you could take your family out fishing basically anywhere around here and catch fish 'till you were tired.....fact is that since then (1970's-1980's) a lot more people have move into the area..granted yes many a northerners have but it is not only them....I remember going to the southern or northern end of Carolina/Kure Beach and would not see you go and it is bumper to bumper everywhere....times change I guess...

Re: Good ol days!

I know. I was just talking to someone about that today. Heck,10 years was good. Weve went fishing in the same places for YEARS and now,your lucky if you catch anything other than a pinfish. It's not the same at all. I sure miss those days. Someone said something about black sea bass being one of the 4..Those are plentiful! Go 5 or 6 miles out and catch em'. I was thinking more along the lines of Black Drum,I don't know why but I don't see them like I use to. I talked to a lady today who stated shes fished Oak Island for 17 years and this year was the worst year she's ever seen.