What are the Carteret County commercial fishing Hurricane Florence impacts on local fisheries, leases, oysters, shrimp, and other shellfish? In this article, we are going to ask a lot of questions and let others with specific ties to the local industry answer them. Please use the comment form below to make contributions to this article. Also, please consider inviting anyone local to the county that has information to the questions we ask.
Readers are encouraged to share on Facebook and Twitter so that others in our communities can learn more about the dramatic challenges the commercial fishing industry faces after Florence. Additionally, we hope you will use the discussion for below to engage us and other readers in conversation about this topic.
Update 10/15/2018 The effects of Florence are now realized. Pollution from flooding in cities that eventually ended up in the Cape Fear and Neuse River, then in Pamlico Sound, and finally in the Atlantic Ocean made many seafood variants unsafe to eat according to Marine Fisheries. Commercial fishermen in Carteret County and others now have to contend with harvesting of clams, mussels, and oysters being forbidden by the state agency. This undoubtedly will hurt the economics of the seafood industry in the county.
What species of fish are mostly sought after by commercial fishermen during the time of year Hurricane Florence impacted areas in the county and specifically down east? Will these impacts carry over in to next year?
How did freshwater intrusion of flood waters affect saltwater species of oysters, flounder, shrimp, and other shellfish?
Due to this storm, did fish move out of the estuaries to escape freshwater and in to the open ocean making fishing more costly?
How many days or weeks did Carteret County fishermen lose on the water due to the storm? How many years will it take it rebound from this storm and are there any specific things that need to happen to get back to normal faster?
Explain to our readers what a “fishing lease” is and how this storm affected them?
What opportunities are there for state and federal money to lessen the impact of the hurricane on local fishermen as it relates to damage to boats, fishing gear, and stores where you sell your daily catch? Will state and federal money also cover losses to what you could have caught and sold during the missed days on the water?
We know that a lot of commercial fishermen rely on oysters in the winter, what was the oyster mortality rate due to this storm?
How is the N.C. Fisheries Association working with the N.C. General Assembly to get extra relief and resources needed to overcome many of the problems the hurricane caused the industry?
Governor Roy Copper Asks U.S. Department of Commerce To Help NC Fisheries
In November of 2018, Governor Roy Cooper asked Secretary Wilbur Ross for more funds and insurance help to help NC commercial fishermen who were affected by Hurricane Florence.
As we stated above, the NC Legislature already allocated $12 million towards fisheries, but the Governor is asking for the federal government to give more to help fishermen and local shellfish harvesters.
Data shows that in 2017, commercial fishing brought in $96 million dollars in revenue to the State of North Carolina while supporting hundreds of jobs and local economies.
Governor Cooper went on to say that insurance premiums for commercial fishermen are a significant burden for most, especially after the Hurricane took their livelihoods for many weeks, damaged boats, and equipment used in their work.