North Carolina shrimp trawlers pull in large hauls

Shrimp boat (Photo: MGN Online)

COROLLA, N.C. (AP) — Scientists say warmer winters are sending shrimp further north, contributing to surging hauls off the coast of North Carolina.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that trawlers have clustered within 3 miles of shore in the Outer Banks, each bringing in as much as 20,000 pounds of shrimp per trip. The manager of O’Neal’s Sea Harvest, Ashley O’Neal, says the Capt. Ralph hauled in a crew record of 30,000 pounds last week.

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North Carolina shrimpers broke records in 2016 and 2017.

A biologist with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, Chris Stewart, attributes increased harvests to warmer winters and water. A fisheries extension specialist with the North Carolina Sea Grant, Sara Mirabilio, says shrimp coming south from the Chesapeake Bay and heavier rainfall could also be contributing to the rise.