Description And Catch Composition Of North Carolina's Long Haul Seine Fishery

The long haul seine is a 1100-1450-m net about 3 m deep pulled by two 9.2 13.7- m boats for distances of up to 2 to 3 km. The fishery, unique to North Carolina, apparently started in the early 1900's. Since 1956, the number of haul crews has varied between 30 to 60 and there is no clear relationship between that number and the total annual catch. Since 1972 landings have tended to increase, with a record 1O,250t landed in 1979. Much of this increase can be attributed to croaker landings, which increased 45-fold from 1971 to 1979. Sixty-one long haul seine catches were sampled during April-October 1979 in Pamlico and Core Sounds and Neuse, Pamlico, and Pungo Rivers, North Carolina. A total of 53 species of fish, 4 species of invertebrates, and 2 species of turtles were observed in the catches. Together, spot, croaker, menhaden, and weakfish comprised 90 percent by number and 88 percent by weight of the samples. Preliminary ageing indicates a large majority of spot, croaker, and weakfish in the long haul catches are ages I and II.

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