North Carolina's Gill Net Wars

On ESPN.com, Mike Marsh attempts to frame the difficult choices facing coastal North Carolina fisheries managers, who are highly protective of the commercial fishing culture but are also being forced to recognize the wastefulness of gill-netting. “On one side of the argument are recreational hook-and-line fishermen like Dubiel. On the other side are commercial gill-net fishermen. Somewhere between are commercial fishermen who compete with gill-netters using other gear, recreational fishermen with commercial gear licenses that can also fish gill nets, and those who seek to protect other sea life from harm by gill nets.”

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  • Capt Gordon

    “If gill nets were eliminated, the commercial fishery would collapse and the economies of coastal communities like Avon would go down with them.”
    The biggest lie those guys like to tell and I cannot believe the author allowed his article to close with a comment like that with no opposing view given. States like FL and LA that have gill net bans also have bigger commercial fishing operations than NC will ever have. Gill nets are destructive and wasteful and that is the bottom line.

  • John Switow

    The gill nets are a problem in inland lakes as well. There are people running gill nets across the mouths of coves and creeks. They are wreaking havoc on the populations of smallmouth and walleye.
    The lake I am familiar with is Santeetlah in Robbinsville, NC.

  • Harry Graff

    As a Yankee transplant, I saw this same debate in Massachusetts. Gill nets are now prohibited inside 3 miles of the coast.
    Hook and Line Commercial fishermen were the greatest supporters of the regulation in MA. Some had visited NC on vacation and are horrified to see the damage done.
    There are other ways to catch fish commercially.

  • Vince Staley

    From tidalfish.com
    The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) recovered a 300-350 yard long abandoned gill nets that was in the Chesapeake Bay, near the mouth of the Choptank River. The nets were removed from the water and found to contain several hundred pounds of dead and decaying striped bass, elwifes, croakers, bluefish and sea birds. If anyone has any information concerning this or other conservation violations, please call 800-628-9944 and…