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NC wildlife nonprofit calls for end to inshore shrimp trawling after flounder season cancellation

Crew members and boat owners help moor the Miss Janice, a shrimp boat, to the dock at Mitchell Seafood on Wheeler Creek in Sneads Ferry, N.C., on Thursday.
Logan Cyrus
/
AFP/Getty Images
File: Crew members and boat owners help moor the Miss Janice, a shrimp boat, to the dock at Mitchell Seafood on Wheeler Creek in Sneads Ferry, N.C.

The North Carolina Wildlife Federation has called for an end to inshore shrimp trawling after the flounder season was canceled.

The organization says the southern flounder and other important fisheries in North Carolina are in dire condition and strong action is needed now to save them.

COE Tim Gestwicki said while there are many reasons why southern flounder and other fisheries are considered overfished, one of the most significant contributing factors is bycatch from inshore shrimp trawling.

A 2015 study shows that for every pound of shrimp harvested in North Carolina’s waters, more than four pounds of other fish are discarded, and southern flounder represented 1% to 33% of the discards.

North Carolina is the only state on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts that still allows large-scale shrimp trawling in its estuaries, and Gestwicki shrimp trawling should only take place in coastal ocean waters.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to eastern North Carolina in 2019 to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of kiddo cuddling, reading, and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.