Wilmington, NC remodeler Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share an article written by Gareth McGrath of StarNewsOnline.com regarding protecting sea turtles in our area.

A traditional way of fishing in North Carolina’s extensive inland and near-shore waters is under threat because of its impacts on an already endangered species.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has proposed a temporary closure of large-mesh gill net fishing from May 15 through Dec. 15 for most areas south of Orgeon Inlet – including the Cape Fear River south of Snow’s Cut – as it struggles to balance the popular and economically important fishing practice with federal rules protecting sea turtles.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has called the growing number of interactions between sea turtles and fishermen in the state’s inshore waters “excessive and unacceptable,” and the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Beach could soon move the matter into federal court.

“We haven’t seen or heard anything that meets or addresses our needs and concerns,” said Executive Director Jean Beasley, adding that the filing of a suit could be imminent.

Gill nets, used up and down the coast in a number of fisheries, are stretched from the water bottom to the surface. They are effective fishing tools in the state’s extensive estuaries and sounds.

But the nets, which are often left out overnight, catch everything that swims into them – and that includes sea turtles. The animal’s head or flippers can get caught in the net, and the air-breathing turtles eventually drown.

That has incensed environmentalists, who consider the nets among the biggest controllable threats to sea turtles. They also note that North Carolina and Mississippi are the last states still allowing the fishing practice. To read the complete article, click here!

Courtesy of: StarNewsOnline.com

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