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Old 02-12-2011, 03:46 PM
archiver archiver is offline
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Default Commercial rockfishing ... media prepares for Friday

10 February 2011 | 6:13 PM
Lee Toliver

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Just got finished watching the WAVY TV report on recent striped bass kills around Oregon Inlet.
It was a fine piece that looked at all sides of the issue.
Recreational anglers, however, likely will be upset about one small portion of the segment, where figures comparing commercial discard numbers were compared to those of recreational anglers. The figures, provided by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission fail to point out one very important thing - that a vast majority of recreational discard is immediate and living, where commecial discard has NO chance of living.
The numbers by themselves, almost 400,000 fish a year for commercial efforts and a million for recreationals, don't tell the entire story.
For the uninformed to see those numbers, the immediate thought will be that recreational anglers are killing and wasting more fish than commercial fishermen.
While some recreational anglers no doubt are guilty of high-grading by throwing away small dead fish when they catch a bigger one, there is no comparison between that and thousands of discarded fish when North Carolina's trawl limit of 2,000 pounds a day has been met.
Some commercial fishermen have come forward to say that many don't like the rules as they are, that those rules force them into a bad light. Others have stated that the issue is being blown out of proportion by overzealous recreational anglers.
If anything good has become of this, it's that things will start to come to a head Friday just outside Morehead City when the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries holds a hearing to discuss, among other things, the striped bass trawl season.
Meanwhile, the Recreational Fishing Alliance is making a big push with federal fisheries managers to to have net fishing for striper outlawed.
That might sound like a good remedy, but it also would hurt the pockets of a lot of hard-working watermen, many of whom just want to do the right thing.
There has to be a solution. It's doubtful that one will come Friday.
And so the discussion will continue.

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