• 72°

NCDMF: North Carolina commercial fishermen landed less seafood in 2020, recreational harvest remained stable

Commercial fishermen sold 42.9 million pounds of fish and shellfish to North Carolina seafood dealers in 2020, a decrease of 19% from 2019 and about a 23% decrease from the previous five-year average, according to a press release from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.

Recreational fishermen landed 53.5 million finfish weighing 24.9 million pounds from state coastal and estuarine waters in 2020. The total weight harvested was about 4.6% higher than 2019 and a 4% increase over the previous 5-year-average.

The decrease in commercial harvest was tied to a 41.3% decrease in hard blue crab landings from 2019 that may have been partly due to impacts from COVID-19. The Division of Marine Fisheries heard from several fishermen who said they found it difficult to move blue crabs at the beginning of the state’s stay-at-home order when many restaurants were closed, stated the release.

Even with the decrease, hard blue crabs remained the state’s top commercial seafood in terms of pounds landed, while shrimp brought the most money to fishermen at the docks. The top five species by weight landed commercially from North Carolina coastal and estuarine waters in 2020 were:

Species Pounds Landed Estimate Dockside Value (Ex-Vessel)
Hard Blue Crabs 13.1 million $19.1 million
Shrimp 9.7 million $22.3 million
Summer Flounder 1.8 million $3.7 million
Spiny Dogfish 1.5 million $205,016
Striped Mullet 1.3 million $651,104

The top five species landed recreationally from North Carolina coastal and estuarine waters in 2020 were:

Species Pounds Landed Number of Fish Landed
Spotted Seatrout 3.6 million 2.1 million
Yellowfin Tuna 2.4 million 83,766
Dolphin 2.1 million 262,372
Bluefish 2.1 million 2.1 million
Spanish Mackerel 1.8 million 1.3 million

Anglers took 16.4 million fishing trips in North Carolina coastal and estuarine waters in 2020, about 1.1 million fewer than in 2019.

The Division of Marine Fisheries’ Trip Ticket Program collects commercial fishing landings statistics through statutorily-mandated reporting of all commercial fisherman to dealer transactions.

The division estimates recreational fishing harvests through the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP). The data for MRIP is gathered by port agents talking to fishermen at recreational access sites such as piers, boat ramps, charter docks and on the beach. Data is also gathered through mail surveys to license holders. The estimates do not include recreational landings of shrimp, crabs and shellfish.

READ ABOUT MORE NEWS HERE.

RECENT HEADLINES:

Blueline tilefish fishery closes Sunday

Fishing on the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

News

Hatteras Island firefighters battle Wednesday evening blaze in Avon

Lifestyles

All kinds of fishing going on

Lifestyles

NC State Fair: Vaccinations encouraged, not required

Crime

North Carolina man found in street with gunshot wounds dies

Lifestyles

Outer Banks Community Foundation awards $29,000 in grants to five nonprofits

Business

Miles Daniels named to Currituck Chamber Board of Directors

News

Public comment open for project to repair the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, surrounding landscape

Crime

North Carolina man charged with child abuse after 4-year-old hospitalized with head injury

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing ammunition, firearms

Crime

State Court of Appeals panel upholds murder conviction of North Carolina man

News

Dare school board hears public comments questioning masks; Farrelly reports quarantine numbers are falling

Currituck

Currituck commissioners implore drivers to exercise caution in school zones

Crime

North Carolina man charged in fatal shooting of son-in-law

News

In Kill Devil Hills, $3 million street and drainage improvement project to begin in fall

News

Speed limits increased on NC 12; night driving in place at CHNS

Crime

Police: North Carolina man found shot to death in front yard

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for methamphetamine, firearm charges

Lifestyles

Dare CYP seeks community support for diaper drives

News

DMF schedules estuarine striped bass plan advisory committee workshop

News

North Carolina unemployment rate falls to 4.3% in August

Crime

North Carolina woman fatally shot, then hit by car

News

Two men killed, woman injured in head-on collision in North Carolina

News

Marc Basnight’s contributions to North Carolina to be recognized at special Senate floor meeting

News

North Carolina nurse wins $216,614 Cash 5 jackpot first time playing