Committees reject idea of banning shrimp trawlers from inland waters

Published: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 07:23 PM.

Among the shrimpers’ problems with Hergenrader’s petition, they say, is that shrimping can take place only on the sound side.

“It would completely devastate the industry,” said John Skinner, a commercial fisherman from Newport. “We can’t fish on the Atlantic side. We have a lot of bad bottom there,” he said, making it impossible to use the nets. In addition, once the shrimp hit the Atlantic they quickly leave the area and migrate for Florida.

Besides, he added, most shrimp boats in North Carolina aren’t designed for the rigors of open water.

Louis Daniel, director of the Division of Marine Fisheries, addressed the committees following Hergenrader’s presentation. He came out quickly in opposition, stating that Hergengrader had no scientific support for his statements, and that the state should not act until research could be done to verify his claims.

“It is our belief,” he said, “that it damages the credibility of previously designated areas.”

He added that declaring all sound waters as a nursery was too vague: “All the waters of North Carolina serve as nurseries of some kind.”

Audience responses strongly supported keeping the waterways open for trawlers.

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