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Fishing Fleets Forced To Bypass NC, Go To Virginia

The Associated Press reports that North Carolina has lost about $4.5 million in commercial fishing business this year because the Oregon Inlet on the Outerbanks isn't deep enough for large fishing boats. The Army Corps of Engineers doesn't have enough money to dredge the water to 14 feet, and is struggling to keep it at 10 feet. The Corps has only received about $4 million of the $15 million it needs, the AP reports. So fishing vessels are going north to Virginia to sell and process their catch. More than 1.2 million pounds of flounder and nearly 33,000 pounds of black sea bass went to Virginia instead of North Carolina between March 7 and April 15th, the AP reports. The only navigation channel in the area is near Bonner Bridge, close to Nags Head. Bodie Island is drifting south and encroaching on the channel.