North Carolina‘s state fish the red drum, aka redfish, puppy drum etc., was once depleted by overfishing and destructive gear practices such as gill nets in inshore waters and estuarine nurseries. Although stricter regulations and better enforcement have helped these fish move into the "recovering" stage, they are a long ways from being "recovered". While regulated as a “by catch” fishery by the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries an annual cap of 250,000 pounds has been exceeded in year(s) 1998 by 44,366 lbs, in 1999 by 122,942 lbs and in 2000 an excess of 20,953 lbs!
North Carolina’s commercial harvest of red drum provides 97% of the total harvest of the species within the United States. North Carolina’s total Commercial Profit from the sale of red drum from the years 1972-2007 $4,042,043.00. The total profit from recreational fishing targeting Red Drum in NC in 2004 alone was $50,000,000.00. North Carolina gill nets have indiscriminately killed non-targeted species such as endangered sea turtles, waterfowl and other fish species. Coastal anglers fishing in North Carolina in 2006 spent a total of $2.03 billion (the 5th highest total across the 23 coastal states). The $2.03 billion in expenditures generated $2.5 billion in total sales to businesses located in North Carolina, provided $780.8 million in personal income to workers in North Carolina, and supported 23,782 jobs in the state.
As I read there info on their site it reminded me of the trouble we had here in Florida with netters that all but killed everything in the Indian and Banana Rivers a number of years ago until the net ban. Since the ban of nets here the fish have come back stronger than ever. I also look forward to doing an interview with some of the guys from RCJ!
Take some time and go to their site www.redfishcantjump.com