Date: May 13, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
State Observers Out Gathering Information by Watching Anglers Fish
MOREHEAD CITY — Recreational anglers, who fish in Carteret County waters this spring and summer, may be asked to help state fisheries managers learn more about what they catch.
Staff with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Observer Program will be out in division-owned boats to watch people fish so that they can document catches of fish, fishing practices, effort and any interactions with protected species.
Observers will identify themselves to anglers, explain the project, ask the angler a few questions about their fishing practices, and observe them fishing from a safe distance.
The division’s Observer Program is designed to collect at-sea information about commercial and recreational catch and bycatch for use in fisheries management decisions, stock assessments, development of fishery management plans, and the conservation of protected species. Bycatch refers to species inadvertently caught by fishermen while they are targeting other fish.
The program has observed commercial fisheries for years, but just began observing recreational fisheries in 2010. Recreational observations will continue through the summer and possibly into the fall.
For more information, contact Protected Species Biologist Jacob Boyd at 252-808-8088 or Jacob.Boyd@ncdenr.gov.
Information about the Observer Program is also available on the division’s website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/observers-program.