Local fishermen discuss offshore drilling

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Back in January the Interior Department announced almost all coastal areas under federal control will be opened to offshore drilling. As the issue continues to be a discussion in our state and nation, local fishermen weigh in.

“If they were to put you know rigs or actual structures out there that are permanent those actually help the fisheries,” Wrightsville Beach Charter Diver Chris Slog said.

Slog said he doesn’t have a strong stance for either side of the offshore drilling debate, but can see both the benefits and negatives.

“Obviously the problems are the spills, so that’s obviously a big you know concern, but the actual structure of the rigs, if they do put those in they do provide habitat for fish. So it actually could be a good thing for the ecosystem,” Slog said.

Meanwhile long-time charter fisherman Robbie Wolfe said he is not against offshore drilling and said it is helpful for fishing.

“I’m all for it myself, any type of new structure, fish are attracted to that I mean just look at the Gulf,” Wolfe said.

As conversations continue, Governor Roy Cooper has been adamant about saying ‘not on our coast.’ This is something Dan George, a board member of the Brunswick Environmental Action Team, is also fighting for.

“With what we’ve already got going on in North Carolina, with our fisheries, with our tourism, with our structures that we already rely on and to take billions and billions of dollars and risk that on a gamble with oil companies would be careless at best,” George said.

Either way, fishermen like Wolfe are going to continue casting a line.

The Brunswick Environmental Action Team posted on their website that they are holding a rally Monday, March 19th to continue the fight against offshore drilling.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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