The soaring prices are crimping North Carolina's $82 million commercial fishing industry. Unlike recreational fishing captains, who can pass on a fuel surcharge to clients, many commercial fishermen are being squeezed by low dockside prices for catches and mounting fuel bills.As I discussed earlier, recreational fishing licenses are down and charter boats have experienced a decrease in business. In this article, we see that many commercial fishermen have reacted to rising costs by choosing not to fish. It appears that prices of shrimp and other fish have not increased enough to account for these rising operating costs.
McKeon estimated fuel costs have increased commercial fishermen's costs by 10 percent. Trucking costs for getting the catch to market also have soared, raising seafood prices in restaurants and retail fish markets. Retail prices likely will go higher, but nobody knows when the increases will make it worth leaving the dock.It seems to be a tough time to be a commercial fisherman. On a separate note, if commercial and recreational fishing is down, I am curious how this will impact overfished stocks. Can rising gas prices have any noticeable effect on any of these species?