10 reasons to save N.C. shrimp

Recipe

When it comes to essential summer meals, nothing beats fried, steamed or grilled shrimp, especially if that shrimp is locally caught by fishermen who care about the marine environment. That's the kind of shrimp you can still get in North Carolina -- for now. The number of men and women who fish for a living is rapidly diminishing. Here's why you should step up make sure you have access to the best local shrimp. 

1. Wild-caught North Carolina shrimp is sustainable, affordable, healthy and delicious.

2. North Carolina waters support hundreds of fishing families, seafood markets and mom-and-pop restaurants that have provided America’s best wild shrimp for generations.

3. Our fishermen lead the nation in sustainable fishing practices that protect fragile fishery nursery areas, save sea turtles and minimize incidental bycatch (finfish) from nets.

4. North Carolina is considering outlawing shrimp trawling in inside waters including Pamlico Sound, a mighty inland sea. At 3,000 square miles, you could fit three Rhode Islands into the Albemarle-Pamlico sound system. New rules would be in addition to highly restrictive regulations that are already in place to protect fragile nursery areas and reduce unintended harvest of juvenile fish.

5. Do you love buying shrimp at roadside stands, farmers markets and fish houses? Closures will devastate rural fishing communities and destroy the livelihoods of fishing families who work hard getting wild-caught North Carolina shrimp to your table. They are your only access to local shrimp.

Shrimp recipe: How to make the best shrimp salad

6. Shrimp boats already cannot trawl in fishery nursery areas, crab spawning areas, oyster sanctuaries, small bays and rivers and in all of Albemarle Sound. They also must avoid sea grasses critical to marine life. Fishermen support all of these restrictions and helped develop them.

7. Sea turtle excluder devices are required in all trawl nets and are 99% effective in freeing sea turtles unharmed from nets. Fishermen are even trained to save turtles if they are caught.

8. Men and women of the N.C. fishing industry care deeply about the marine environment. They were first in America to install devices to reduce the amount of fish caught in shrimp nets. Fishermen’s ongoing cooperative research with scientists has further reduced bycatch by 40% since 2015.

9. Commercial fishing is the fabric of N.C. coastal culture. Most boats are smaller than 50 feet.

10. Remind state lawmakers that your only access to NC wild caught shrimp is from licensed, professional commercial fishermen. Don’t kick fishers off carefully managed, designated sound waters that produce the most shrimp - keep fishermen working for us!

Read more: What you don't know about shrimp

Read more: The scientific truth about trawling  

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