Division of Marine Fisheries to begin survey of shrimp trawl fishermen

MOREHEAD CITY

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will begin contacting shrimp trawl and skimmer trawl vessel operators in the coming weeks for a survey about the types of gear they use.

The division wants to know what bycatch reduction devices and turtle excluder devices are currently used in the North Carolina commercial shrimp fishery. The survey also includes questions about overall gear configurations, as well as some socioeconomic information, such as costs and revenues of the shrimping business.

Information from the survey will aid the division in understanding impacts of potential management strategies pertaining to the shrimp fishery.

The survey is being conducted at the request of the Marine Fisheries Commission and the commercial fishing industry. The survey is funded by the North Carolina Commercial Fishing Resource Fund, which receives money from commercial fishing license sales and supports a grant program that is managed by commercial fishing industry stakeholders.

The division will begin calling a random sample of trawl/skimmer vessel operators on Feb. 24. Letters have been sent to shrimp trawl and skimmer trawl vessel operators in the state to inform them that they may receive a call.

Those contacted will have the option to take the survey then or rescheduling for another time. For the survey results to be truly representative of the North Carolina shrimp industry, it is important that those contacted participate in the survey and answer as many questions as possible.

Individual answers to questions will be kept confidential; however, a summary of collective results from participants will be included in a written report that will be available to the public.

Vessel operators who receive a survey call can verify that the person on the line is a division employee by asking the employee to confirm his or her license number, vessel name, or vessel registration number.

For more information, contact Chris Stewart, the division’s shrimp species lead, at 910-796-7370 or Chris.Stewart@ncdenr.gov, or David Dietz, the division’s economist, at 919-707-8573 or David.Dietz@ncdenr.gov.

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