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North Carolina Marine Fisheries Flounder Harvest Reduction Fails In First Year

November 14, 2020

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries plan to restore the North Carolina Flounder resource has fallen far short of the 62% harvest reduction goal. The program’s 2019 figures report that with significant restrictions to recreational fishing regulations, the program only reached 34% reduction of harvest. This was particularly troubling to the state’s recreational anglers that suffered a total Flounder fishery closure during the last months of 2019 and more than 10 months of closures in 2020.

In an October 23, 2020 post, the North Carolina Wildlife Federation details the state’s Flounder issues and how they have evolved over the years. The post provides a perspective that is based on facts and a  scientific viewpoint.

The 2019 figures pose a number of concerns and questions for North Carolina saltwater anglers and especially those that target the Flounder species. Those questions include:

  • With 1/3 of the Flounder recreation season closed in 2019 and the harvest reduction missing its target by nearly half, does the issue exist beyond the recreational angler?
  • What steps is the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission to seek other solutions to remedy the poor harvest reduction figures in the present and future?
  • What steps will  the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission take to relax the current Flounder fishing regulations in the event the 2020 statistics reflect a similar shortfall?  These steps, based on the fact that with only 45 days of fishing annually, the recreational fisherman is likely not the cause of the shortfall.

In addition to concerns over the projected Flounder harvest shortfall, The CCA of North Carolina recently filed a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina for Citing the State’s “abject failure” in meeting its legal duties to properly manage coastal fisheries resources on behalf of North Carolina’s current and future citizens.”

The CCA of North Carolina action is another chapter in the association’s efforts to preserved the state’s coastal resources.

Despite the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission’s 2019 Flounder harvest shortfall, no change in direction has been announced for the coming months. Earlier this year  NCMFC director, Stephen Murphey was invited to participate in a Coastal Carolina Fisherman on-line Magazine podcast. He declined.

The problem continues!!!!


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