North Carolina halts gill-net fishing after turtles caught

Photo: NOAA

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina has stopped gill-net fishing in several sounds in the northeastern part of the state after five sea turtles were caught in the nets.

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries has announced that the closure takes effect at 5 p.m. Friday. It covers Albemarle, Currituck, Croatan and Roanoke sounds for all anchored gill nets.

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State officials say the ban will be in effect at least until Sept. 1 and could be extended.

John Norris fishes for flounder in Currituck Sound and told the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk he’s never seen a sea turtle in the area. He says state officials have wiped out his livelihood with the ban.

Commercial fishermen say sea turtles are threatened more by strikes from recreational boaters than from gill nets.

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