Recreational fishing declines from 2016

Recently, another piece of unfortunate news came out regarding our coastal fisheries. For recreational fishing, both the catch and effort have declined significantly in the past year, according to an email sent by NC Sound Economy to its mailing list.

NC Sound Economy is a coalition of conservationists dedicated to preserving coastal economies through restoration of marine fishery stocks.

“There were fewer fishing trips and fewer fish caught along the North Carolina coast last year”  —What a bad headline for our coastal economies, the email said.

Those engaged in recreational fishing made nearly 1 million fewer trips, and the number of fish caught dropped from 8.6 million in 2016 to 5.5 million last year.

This story is just the latest in a long trend of declines in both recreational and commercial fishing landings. NC Sound Economy recently charted the trends, and you can find the results here.

These numbers are bad for all sectors of the coastal economy, but solutions have been hard to come by. “One of NC Sound Economy’s priorities is better data collection and research to inform decision making. We look forward to working with policymakers to improve data and science in our fisheries,” the email concluded.


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