North Carolina group opposes fishing with gill nets

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An organization that represents recreational saltwater fishing interests in North Carolina is launching its latest step in a campaign against fishing practices it calls wasteful.

Coastal Conservation Association North Carolina posted a new video, “Gillnets in North Carolina,” opposing fishing with gill nets on the Save NC Sounds website.

“We want to take a higher profile, make a more concerted effort to educate our members, the public and legislators about this type of destructive fishing gear,” Rip Woodin, communication and education committee chairman and a retired Rocky Mount publisher, told the News & Observer.

Coastal Conservation Association North Carolina, with about 3,000 members, is part of the national association, which has 17 state chapters along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts.

Gill nets are long lengths of netting suspended from floats to form a mesh curtain that efficiently catches fish by the gills. Turtles, non-target fish species, birds and mammals often are caught as well.

The video was created from members’ photos, Woodin said. Its release follows last fall’s site launch and a 12-billboard campaign along interstate highways.

Website videos also target large inshore shrimp-trawling operations, which kill tons of small and juvenile fish as waste, or bycatch, in the Pamlico Sound, Woodin said.

“We at least want people to know what is going on with our natural resources,” Woodin said.

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