NC Sound Economy recently charted both landings and dollar value over time for several key North Carolina species. The results were not encouraging. Almost all of the key species have seen significant declines over two decades. First, we see the overall declines in commercial landings for these important species (southern flounder, spotted sea trout, red drum, blue crabs, croaker, weakfish and striped bass).
Commercial Landed Volume and Value 1991-2015 (NMFS 2017)
Southern Flounder: An Iconic Fish in Decline
As one example, the economic trends demonstrate the damage this mismanagement has done to the southern flounder fisheries. The charts below show the trends in pounds landed and value of that harvest. Both in pounds landed and value of harvest are less than 50 percent of their peaks more than twenty years ago, just before the legislature passed major changes to fisheries management.
Commercial Fishing for Southern Flounder
Recreational Fishing for Southern Flounder
NC Sound Economy will share more data on the decline in fisheries in the coming months. Tell us your thoughts below.