Shrimp fishermen

Shrimp fishermen could trawl in New River about 208 more hours each year under a proposal being considered by the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission.

The additional time would come as the result of changing state fisheries rules that ban weekend trawling and night trawling in certain waters. Those rules now prohibit trawling from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise. New rules would change the prohibitions to 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

Officials say the proposal comes after fishermen complained that they had to carry a sunset table with them to ensure they abided by the rules. Officials say the effect of the rule would vary in different months and from water body to water body, but would result in an overall increase in trawling times.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)