“To say that saltwater angling is popular in North Carolina is an understatement,” Baker says. “About one in 13 North Carolinians holds a coastal recreational fishing license. In 2016 alone, almost 2 million anglers fished in our state.”
According to the most recent data available from NOAA Fisheries, North Carolina ranks first among Atlantic states for the number of people who fish recreationally in saltwater off the East Coast. Florida is a close second.
“No matter how you look at these figures, that’s a lot of people enjoying our coast and its resources,” Mirabilio says. “One of our responsibilities as fisheries specialists with North Carolina Sea Grant is to share relevant scientific discoveries with people who work, play and live there.”
Mirabilio and Baker surveyed 1,000 coastal recreational fishing license holders across the state and found they are keen on learning about research that affects them. Those findings inspired the launch of Hook, Line & Science.
“Research offers many answers for fishermen,” says Baker. “Which hook type works best for catching and releasing a certain species? If you only have time to go to one reef site on your next trip, should you seek out a natural reef or an artificial one? How do hurricanes affect coastal waters and fishing?”
“We found out lots of cool things about North Carolina anglers,” adds Mirabilio. “We plan to share those discoveries soon, too.”
Mirabilio and Baker are encouraging widespread distribution of Hook, Line & Science. The text is free to republish in print and on the web with proper attribution, and in some cases accompanying images are available as well. See individual blogposts for permissions.
North Carolina Sea Grant: Your link to research and resources for a healthier coast