NC Catch Summit 2023

Date: 20 Mar

Time: 8:30am - 4:30am

Location: Nags Head, N.C.


Whether you’re someone who fishes for a living or enjoys cooking and eating fresh seafood, and seeking out the best seafood restaurants, this day of storytelling, education and deliciousness will inspire and teach you how to stand up for local seafood. Your voice matters!

Fresh seafood is a cornerstone of North Carolina’s economy and culture. Our commercial fishing communities not only embody the rich history that has made the state a beloved destination but provide safe, healthy and sustainable seafood consumers need and deserve to live their best lives. Hear the real-life stories of commercial fishing families and learn how you can help preserve North Carolina’s vital seafood industry.

PLEASE NOTE: You must register to attend this event. This event is free, but lunch is not included. You may add-on lunch when you register

The 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