Busting Seafood Myths: NC Catch Summit is March 20


Premier panels, insightful guest speakers. Learn how to advocate for local seafood. Hear from the man who inspired Farm Aid! Real talk! Storytelling! Education! Nags Head.

With 79% of North Carolinians wanting their seafood purchases to support fishing families, NC Catch, the state’s leading cooperative for local seafood, brings together consumers and commercial fishers to feast on local catch and share valuable education about North Carolina’s vital seafood industry.

Premier panels, insightful guest speakers and unmatched opportunities demonstrating how to advocate for local seafood are on the agenda at the NC Catch Summit 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 20 at the famous Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café in Nags Head.

Misinformation about commercial fishing in North Carolina keeps growing, and confusion persists over whether seafood is sustainably harvested. Panels will dig deep into major myths, real seafood trends and innovative efforts of young people entering all aspects of the state’s seafood industry. This day of education and real-life stories of commercial fishing families will teach attendees how to stand up for local seafood.

Keynote speakers David Senter, the seminal farmers rights advocate whose movement inspired Farm Aid, and N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries director Kathy Rawls will share how both consumers and commercial fishers can get their concerns heard by regulators and the public, building unrelenting support for a seafood industry that feeds North Carolina and is a cornerstone of the state’s multimillion-dollar tourist industry.

The NC Catch Summit culminates in a delicious evening at the Outer Banks Seafood Feast . Guests will savor a selection of dishes passed down through generations of fishing families. The menu includes stewed crab, steamed shrimp, homemade desserts and more. All proceeds benefit NC Catch, a volunteer organization of commercial fishers, scientists, seafood market owners and others in the seafood industry working to ensure everyone has access to safe, reliable and sustainable North Carolina seafood.

The NC Catch Summit agenda below. The summit is free, but guests must register to attend. Lunch is not included but may be added during registration.

Register for the NC Catch Summit at https://NCCatchSummit2023.eventbrite.com

The Outer Banks Seafood Feast costs $75 per person. 

Get Outer Banks Seafood Feast tickets at https://NCCatchOuterBanksSeafoodFeast.eventbrite.com

Summit Agenda

8:30-9:00 a.m.: Check in

9:15 a.m.: Welcome messages
NC Catch Chair Barbara Garrity-Blake
• NC Catch board member Mark Hooper

9:20-9:50 a.m.: Where Seafood is Going
North Carolina’s wild caught seafood industry alone contributes $300 million to the state’s economy, but what is the future of this vital industry providing nearly 6,000 jobs. North Carolina Sea Grant offers a look into drivers propelling the industry forward.
Barry Nash, North Carolina Sea Grant marketing and seafood technology specialist
• Scott Baker, North Carolina Sea Grant fisheries specialist

10-10:45 a.m.: On the Horizon: Trends & Opportunities in North Carolina’s Seafood Industry
North Carolina’s coast is changing as more people move to the state. But one thing is constant: People here want local seafood, whether they are catching it, buying it or enjoying historic commercial fishing communities. This panel outlines the direction that fisheries management is taking and how that shapes what seafood is available to commercial fishers, seafood markets and consumers. Talk also focuses on seafood dishes that appeal to consumers. Get valuable insight as you work to protect your access to local seafood and help preserve North Carolina’s vital commercial fishing culture.
• Ricky Moore, chef/owner Saltbox Seafood Joint, Durham and NC Catch Chef Ambassador (Eastern North Carolina Style Recipes Matter)
• Nathan King, Seaview Crab Co. co-owner (role of technology, market trends)
• Vicki Basnight, Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe (restaurant, supply chain trends)
• Kelsey Aiken, Jeffrey’s Seafood owner (wholesale trends, meeting customer demand)
• Facilitator: Barbara Garrity-Blake, chair, NC Catch

10:50-11 a.m.: Fish Tales Real-life stories from people who work the water.

11-11:45 a.m.: Myth Busters: Improving data and counteracting misinformation
Misinformation about commercial fishing in North Carolina keeps growing, and confusion persists over whether seafood is sustainably harvested. Email marketing and social media are key factors in the spread of information. Consumers need accurate fisheries information so that they can effectively advocate for local seafood. This panel teaches you how to craft responses to misinformation. You’ll learn how to pinpoint the audience you are trying to reach and create a highly informative message that is factual and true to your voice and experience.
• Jimmy Ruhle, commercial fisherman (helping scientists collect accurate information)
• Glenn Skinner, N.C. Fisheries Association executive director (putting fisheries management in plain English)
• Ryan Speckman, owner Locals Seafood, Durham: (real facts that sell local seafood)
• Facilitator: Jess Hawkins, co-chair, NC Catch

11:45-11:50 a.m.: Fish Tales Real-life stories from people who work the water.

12-1:30 p.m.: Lunch & Learn & Network

• Enjoy a casual lunch, $15. Need lunch? Let us know.
• 12:15-12:30 p.m. David Senter, Farm Aid The seminal farmers’ rights advocate whose movement helped inspire Farm Aid, shares insight into how he organized farmers in America to get their concerns heard by lawmakers and understood by consumers, building unrelenting support for an industry that feeds the nation. Learn how to effectively organize people in your community to protect access to safe, sustainable local seafood.
• 12:30-12:45 p.m. Kathy Rawls, Director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, speaks about the agency’s efforts to include stakeholders in the fisheries management process and better communicate complex fisheries issues to the public. The division celebrates 200 years of service in 2023.
• 1:00-1:25 p.m. Mingle & Network See a moving photo exhibit, get a selfie next to your favorite shot and #nccatch on social! Learn how the N.C. Oyster Trail is marketing local seafood in a new way. Find out about the Catch network in your region. Network with marine fisheries managers, marine researchers and commercial fishers.

1:30-2:15 p.m.: Next Generation at the Helm
Young voices shaping the future talk about why they carry on North Carolina’s seafood industry tradition and how they are reaching consumers in new ways. You’ll be inspired by these forward-thinking market owners and commercial fishers and oyster growers.
• Alana Harrison, Harbor House Seafood (social media marketing for seafood)
• Worth Elliott, commercial fisherman (fair access for young fishers and working together with facts)
• Matt Hooper, commercial fisherman (carrying on tradition)
• Ryan Belter, Cape Hatteras Oyster Co. (new marketing for oysters)
• Facilitator: Sara Mirabilio, North Carolina Sea Grant

2:15 - 2:30 p.m.: Fish Tales Open Mic & Closing Remarks

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.: Field trip to O’Neal’s Fish House (drive yourself)
Go behind the scenes of a real family fish house. 

• Facilitator: Sara Mirabilio, North Carolina Sea Grant
• Presenter: Dewey Hemilright, commercial fisherman

6 to 9 p.m.: Outer Banks Seafood Feast Fundraising Dinner for NC Catch

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