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I'll say it - That season is 3 days too long for my tastes.

I support my local fisherman, but I don't count guys hauling striper-laden gill nets with pickups on the beach among them. There's nothing pretty about the commercial fishing industry (or any food industry, for that matter), but this seems particularly distasteful to me.

My question would be whether this in the best interests of the fishery by reducing overpopulation & disease? Or is it pandering to the protection of a "heritage" (that happened to wipe out the striped bass population for decades)?

Slap whatever label on me you'd like - undereducated, anti-heritage, anti-small-business (or anything else anybody wants to hide behind). Doesn't look right to me. Legal doesn't make it right. "Because great-grand-daddy did it" doesn't make it right.

Here's a silly but related question: Who eats commercially-caught striped bass? Not sure I've ever seen it at a local grocery. Is it processed into something else? Shipped overseas? Kept as a coastal delicacy?
 

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Like Jeff said, I'd love to know more about where these fish are sold/marketed. So much effort was made over the years to rebuild the Striped Bass population. This seems counter productive. I don't want to start a "Commercial" vs. "Recreational" thread here (cause that doesn't ever seem to solve anything and just inflames folks on other boards), but it seems that we could all agree that managing the resource for future generations demands some significant first steps. I would be interested in others thoughts on what those steps should be regarding gill nets.
 

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I'm totally against all forms of inshore/nearshore netting, Chaps alot of hides but that's my opinion. I am flexible but not to be swayed overall..Farmers in the midwest had to find other ways to make a living and commercial fishermen can too. It is sad the reguations are so lax in NC as to allow this sort of thing. I'm glad to see the new saltwater license because it will show the state a better view of how many recreational fishermen spend money in this state! I just wish blanket licenses required a headcount so the # of people on charters/piers could be noted as well!
 

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Farmers in the midwest had to find other ways to make a living and commercial fishermen can too.
I don't know much about the fishing industry, just wanted to chime in that my dad's an agronomist at State, his whole career has been about helping farmers find better ways to do things than their grandfathers did -- whether driven by regulation, economics, or changes in nature... He used to have a bumper sticker that said "Never before have so many been fed by so few for so little." And this in the late 70's, early 80's. Since that time, of course, fewer American farmers have produced even more...

There can be real benefits to embracing changes...
 

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One of the same questions that Jeff raises immediately came to mind for me: Where is the market? I think that I recall seeing St. Bass on a shi-shi menu before, and have definitely seen it at the fish shop, but Striper certainly doesn't have the demand that say grouper or halibut might have. What I fear most is that those big beauties are ending up processed into fish sticks. That would just be the worst.
 

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There is nothing wrong with that video in my opinion except someone is trying to make a legitimate fishing method look bad with the captions.

Perhaps folks are just shocked to see a hard working fisherman pull in his catch? Each operation (license holder, not person) is allowed 50 fish per day for a short 3 day season once a year. That's not a lot but does help a fisherman pay the bills during the slow season. I bet there isn't more than a dozen or 2 commercial fisherman that even participated. So 150 times a few commercials equals - not a lot of fish.

The DMF is tasked with maintaining limits on our fisheries that allow the fish population to be sustained. They do this for both commercial and recreational fisherman.

Some people may have been shocked by seeing those fish in a seine net (the intent of the video) but there was nothing wrong with it. They catch very little "by-catch" and process the fish right away so there is no waste. In other words, they have very little impact on the fishery overall.

This type fishing is nothing like net fishing in the sounds and waterway.
 

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Plenty of legitimate things have become illegitimate with changing times, attitudes and information. I couldn't tell if the video was tongue-in-cheek or not. If the goal was to engender sympathy for the hard working fisherman, it failed here. If the goal was to shine the light of day on the practice and get folks like me agitated, it succeeded. Nets can't count, and apparently neither could that "fisherman".

(Uh Oh - Randy's going to have to send those pesky moderators to their rooms without dinner if they don't behave:)!)

Granted we don't get the whole picture, and if this video was done as propaganda its likely to have exaggerated the situation and is a pretty good piece of anti-netting propaganda. Maybe its the setting - on the beach, maybe its the exclusivity of the target - stripers, but for whatever reason that's a particularly ugly practice to me. I wouldn't want to stumble across it as a beach goer and certainly don't appreciate it as a recreational fisherman. Perhaps if it were croakers or spots or trout or something regularly caught in larger numbers and less severely impacted in the past by commercial fishing it wouldn't have struck such a chord with me.

Always interesting when one man's livelihood crosses with another's recreation/passion. Different perspectives, different goals.
 

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The good part of this thread is that it lets us know that people are paying attention as to what is going on. As for the method of netting and the enforcement of limits, I have no problem. It has not been that many years ago that I personally have witnessed "chopper blues" caught by sports fishermen? stacked like cord wood on the beach and left to rot in the sun. Old drum were caught till a fisherman gave out, the drum heads were opened up and the ballast bone was removed from between their eyes for a trophy--carcasses were left to rot on the beach. Nowadays I ride along hwy 12 and see sports fishermen with cast nets filling 5 gal buckets with finger mullet. I hear that there are not as many mullet as used to be. I believe we are all in this together it would be wise to work together on getting everyone's act cleaned up and don't throw too many stones without looking at the whole picture.
 

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This is actually filmed right across from my house. I have seen it done many times. I dont really like it but they are doing there jobs. There is always Wildlife Patrol watching and checking them. I see them come up empty handed more than anything else. The do catch alot alot of dogfish and just throw them on the shore to die. They actually caught a Blue fin tune the other week.
 

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I'm sure those fisherman can count just fine. So can the DMF officer keeping a constant eye on them as mentioned by Obxdlv. Did you notice the fish flopping? they are still alive - the undersize ones and any over the limit go back into the ocean with as good or a better chance of living than those hooked and dragged through the water for 10 minutes.

I'm not a commercial fisherman and I don't like wasted fish. I'm very much against types of netting that waste our resources (as well as recs that don't respect the law) but this film shows nothing more than commercial fisherman making a living in a very legitimate way. I'm sure some folks would be appalled watching a video of steer being slaughtered too but they like steak and burgers and there is nothing wrong with that either.

Okay, I'm getting off my high horse now, thanks for "listening". :D
 

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I'm sure those fisherman can count just fine. So can the DMF officer keeping a constant eye on them as mentioned by Obxdlv. Did you notice the fish flopping? they are still alive - the undersize ones and any over the limit go back into the ocean with as good or a better chance of living than those hooked and dragged through the water for 10 minutes.

I'm not a commercial fisherman and I don't like wasted fish. I'm very much against types of netting that waste our resources (as well as recs that don't respect the law) but this film shows nothing more than commercial fisherman making a living in a very legitimate way. I'm sure some folks would be appalled watching a video of steer being slaughtered too but they like steak and burgers and there is nothing wrong with that either.

Okay, I'm getting off my high horse now, thanks for "listening". :D
Not to start an argument but steer are raised to be slaughtered. Nobody here would be blink an eye if this guy was killing farm raised fish. Doesn't a fish struggle when it is caught in the net? Are the nets left in the water for more than 10 minutes? Is the line on the nets scraping against the fishes gills which pretty much means it is going to die anyways? I just don't like nets used catch fish that I have to put forth so much effort to catch on hook and line. Let the commercials catch them with a hook and line like everyone else. My 2 cents.
 

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This is a great conversation. Enjoying all posts on all sides of the issue. Personally, I have no problem with commercial fishing as long as it is done SUSTAINABLY, i.e. without degrading the resource. In my opinion, the commercial fishing industry has a poor record in that regard. There was a story about this on 60 minutes last night about the blue fin tuna fishery in Italy.

That said, is it better to buy locally harvested shrimp, or farm-raised shrimp from MegaMart that's been imported from China?

Don't claim to have all the answers, just raising questions.
 

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I just don't like nets used catch fish that I have to put forth so much effort to catch on hook and line. Let the commercials catch them with a hook and line like everyone else. My 2 cents.
Hm... does that equate to the farmer using heavy equipment instead of the hand tools you use in your garden?

...just another thought....
 

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I find the video disgusting and the catching process even more disgusting. I had never given much thought about how fish are comercially caught before this year. I understand that its someone's way of making a living but this doesn't mean that makes it right or acceptable to me does it. For me It just about makes the point of catch and release pointless when you consider how many fish are in the nets. Whats the one or two fish I throw back gonna matter.

From what I have read about the declining striper population and the efforts of the past to resurrect the numbers this netting seems counter productuve.

However, this is my opinion on this subjest and we are all welcome to our opinions aren't we.
 

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Just for the record - the commercial seine net striper season was only three days long this year and they were allowed 50 fish per day per license holder, so 150 fish each. Recreational fisherman keep far more stripers than commercial fisherman in NC. In 2006 (the latest year stats are available today) Recreational fisherman kept 2,112,024 pounds of stripers and commercial guys kept 270,932 pounds. Huge difference.

So Tadpole, the 1 or 2 fish you released are far more likely to end up in a recs cooler rather than at the fish house. I'm okay with that. As long as we manage our resource properly there will continue to be fish. Stripers have made a huge comeback over the last 20 years, we need to keep it up.
 

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Hm... does that equate to the farmer using heavy equipment instead of the hand tools you use in your garden?

...just another thought....
Lefty, I just heard from the Federated Farmers of America. They say they're willing to switch to hand tools if we're willing to adopt this as our new paddle:


Sorry for the detour. Its late and I think its quite a funny little spoon.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled commercial netting vs recreational hook&line fishing debate...
 

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This discussion isn't going to do anything about solving the problems, but is good for venting opinions.:) For all that are so opposed to our commercial fishing industry and how it is caught should consider sending a donation to PETA or just keep on buying and eating the Chinese and Mexican imports at your favorite seafood restaurant and grocery stores( they can still provide you with those delicious baby flounder). I used to ask if my seafood is fresh or frozen, now it's domestic or foreign? It's not limited to the inland establishments either. I only eat locally produced seafood or what I catch or harvest myself. I'm in a location where I can observe from the inside out. I'm seeing generations of seafood providers giving up due to fuel costs and imports. Whether we agree or not the American fishing industry is a vital link in our nations economy and provides us with a clean reliable source of FOOD. My 2 cents worth.
 
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