Commercial fishermen circulate petition to continue mullet strike netting

Commercial fishermen circulate petition to continue mullet strike netting

HARKERS ISLAND - Commercial fishermen are worried about what they say is a ban on mullet strike netting on the Cape Lookout National Seashore.

It works like this, fishermen search the shoreline for schools of mullets. When they find one, the encircle the fisher using a smaller boat and net. The net then scoops the fish onto the shoreline where fishermen pick up the mullets.

A petition is circulating on Harkers Island asking the park service to continue to allow fishermen to fish for mullet in that fashion.

Paul Kirkland is the man who started the petition.

"The commercial fisherman needs an advocate, he needs someone to represent him," Kirkland said. "It's got to come from the government because we're dealing with the government."

Kirkland also contacted Congressman Walter B. Jones about the issue. Congressman Jones's office told NewsChannel12 that they are looking into the issue, but the park service is closed due to the government shutdown. Any action will have to wait untilĀ  the shutdown is over.

However, a representative said they've encountered situations like this one before and they are usually able to facilitate a compromise.

As of Friday, the petition had 200 signatures.

The Cape Lookout National Seashore was also not available for comment because of the shutdown.

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