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Overfishing Great White Sharks wipes out Carrboro's Bay Scallop Fishery
The Carrboro Citizens wins First Award

The Carrboro Citizen, the new kid on the block has left the starting block with a blockbuster story that has produced one of many that are sure to follow rewards. The story which was borrowed from the UNC News Services is an example of The Carrboro Citizen's ability to be creative and resourceful in bringing us the best news that's fit to print. Since we have less space we will only summarize the article.

It's a little know fact that in the past Carrboro was one of the largest producers of Bay Scallops in North Carolina. Eight days a week the Scallop fisherman could be seen out in their canoes on the Haw River, Morgan Creek, University Lake and every other major and minor waterway way in the county. Bringing home their bounty of scallops, the Robertson Fish Market(Just in front of the Emergency Squad parking garage) was a bustling center of activity as the local fisherman hawked their scallops. The Robertson Fish Market was the largest procurrer of scallops in the country with farmers coming from miles to purchase them.

Scallops and corn, scallops and chitlin', scallops and pork rind, scallops and collards- there was no limit to what the bountiful Carrboro harvest could be mixed with. Delicious scallop dishes were aplenty earning Carrboro the well-deserved "Scallop Queen of the Piedmont" award.

Unfortunately, an abundance of scallops also meant an abundance of the most feared predator of the seas- The Great White Shark. Canoeing down Cane Creek and the rest of the Orange County Waterways became a treacherous undertaking for our brave scallop fishermen. A fifteen foot Great White Shark, weighing upward of 4000 pounds and laying in wait for it's prey in a 2 foot deep creek caught many a scalloper by surprise. In an ocean, there is hope as a quick step to the side can avoid the iron jaws of the savage beast, canoeing right into their open jaws is a whole different story.

The Great White Shark

The Scallop
Who would have thought that the lives of these two great monsters of the sea would be part of Carrboro's intricately balanced eco-system?

As the scallop fisherman population started to dwindle, so did the scallops bound for the dinner table. Pressed with the possiblity of losing her title as "Scallop Queen of The Piedmont", Carrboro did what it does best, sent out scores of vigilante's to hunt the hated beast. And so they hunted and hunted and hunted.....

"I remember going out to Bolin Creek and catching 4 of those big old critters in one day", one local Shark Hunter told the Carrboro News(and asked us to pass it on to The Carboro Citizen). "We developed a bunch of ways to capture them. If you hold a shark tightly by the tail they can't really reach around to bite you, so we'd grab their tail and pull them up the banks. Once out of the water, they are much easier to control, kind of like holding a big, but not too big lizard by the tail. We also like the westling method of The Crocodile Hunter when you get a pile of people, jump on the shark, hold his mouth shut and smother him into submission. Once you get 15 or 20 people on them, the shark knows it's whopped and they're ready to give in."

In time, the Great White Shark population was decimated and the shores of University Lake and the banks of Bolin Creek were once again reclaimed by Carrboro citizens. Sunbathers on the muddy banks abounded. With the deadly beasts out of the picture, the Carrboro Scallopers could go back to work, without fear of their life.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the creeks..... The scallops disappeared also. In a bizarre ecological connection that was previously unseen, it become evident very quickly that the ecological balance was thrown far askew. The Great Whites had, in a way that only nature can explain, kept the population of scallop fisherman down, creating a finely tuned balance of nature. Once the Great White Shark population was decimated and the scallopers were left unchecked to multiply at will, the fate of the scallops was beginning to be written in stone on the wall. Overfishing by an overabundance of scallopers led to the demise of the scallops that used to line the creeks, ponds, rivers and lakes.

A sad state of affairs for this community, The Carrboro Citizen has taken an active role, not usually associated with newspapers by spearheading the "Bring the Great White Sharks back to Carrboro" Campaign. To find out more about their campaign and donate to the cause look for a copy of The Carrboro Citizen at your nearest newsstand.

The Carrboro Citizen is also actively attempting to survey the damage and take a census of The Great White Shark and Scallop populations. If you should see a Great White or Scallop in any of the Carrboro waterways please contact The Carrboro Citizen immediately and either request a tag to clip on either of the beasts or giving them a detailed description of the location you saw them so that Kirk Ross can go out and tag the beast himself.

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