The 1997 NC Fisheries Reform Act: An Oral History Perspective

The Fisheries Reform Act is the most significant fisheries legislation in NC history.

In 1994, the NC General Assembly approved a moratorium on the sale of new commercial fishing licenses and established the 19-member Fisheries Moratorium Steering Committee to oversee study of the state’s entire coastal fisheries management process and to recommend changes to improve that process. The Moratorium Steering Committee included legislators, fisheries managers, scientists, commercial fishermen, and recreational fishermen. The committee commissioned six research studies and reviewed a broad range of issues, including fishing licenses, fishing gears, habitat protection, agency organization, and law enforcement. The committee issued a draft report in late summer 1996, held 19 public meetings across the state, and adopted a final report in October 1996 that formed the basis for the Fisheries Reform Act. Governor James B. Hunt signed the Act into law on August 14, 1997.

The 1997 NC Fisheries Reform Act: An Oral History Perspective was a project made possible by the North Carolina Sea Grant Community Collaborative Research Grant Program. In 2016, a three-part podcast series was recorded to examine the state of NC Fisheries prior to and after the implementation of the Fisheries Reform Act. The first part of the series provides history prior to the act’s passage. Part two explore the path from moratorium to passage. The third part of the series highlights the shortcomings and successes of the reform act.

The interviews, podcasts, along with a discussion guide can be found at “Raising the Story: The 1997 Fisheries Reform Act.”

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Piedmont Season of the Sea Dinner – April 25

Piedmont welcomes Chef Karl Worley of Biscuit Love for a spring menu highlighting NC Seafood & iconic Southern Chefs

SeasonsOfTheSea_logoLoRes[Durham, NC, March 20, 2017] – As a longtime supporter of small, North Carolina growers, Piedmont has remained equally committed to being a good steward of the sea. Each season, Piedmont invites chefs, fisherman, and organizations supporting sustainable seafood to collaborate on their Seasons of the Sea dinner – a multi-course dinner showcasing the diversity and seasonality of fish and shellfish from our coast. This 4-part dinner series highlights North Carolina’s seafood in Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

On April 25th, Piedmont’s Executive Chef John May welcomes Chef Karl Worley – whose Biscuit Love in Nashville, TN was featured in the latest issue of Garden & Gun Magazine. The magazine praised Worley, saying, “The magic in Worley’s food is not invention, but care. He makes everything 10 percent better than it needs to be, taking a dish already delicious and transforming it into something irresistible—via ingredient selection, or proportion, or sourcing, or a flavor tweak.” Worley and May will collaborate on a 5-course spring menu (below) featuring North Carolina seafood and paying homage to a wide range of iconic Southern Chefs. Look for dishes featuring sustainably caught North Carolina seafood from Locals Seafood. Piedmont’s relationship with Locals Seafood has enabled them to share fresh-caught fish from North Carolina’s coast throughout the year, and to be advocates for a robust North Carolina seafood economy. A percentage of every ticket purchased will fund North Carolina Catch. “Fresh seasonal seafood from our coast is top notch. NC Catch couldn’t be more pleased that Piedmont is presenting a special taste of the best that North Carolina has to offer,” explained NC Catch President Jimmy Johnson.

“These dinners give us an opportunity to bring like-minded chefs to the Piedmont table; we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Chef Karl Worley back to Durham.”

This dinner will be celebrated Tuesday, April 25th, at 6:30pm. The $65/ person 5-course menu is also available for $90, with General Manager Crawford Leavoy’s cocktail pairings which reflect a similar viewpoint.

Reservations can be made by contacting 919-683-1213. All special menus may be previewed in the Events section at Please also note Chef John May’s March Seasonal Ingredient 4-course Tasting Menu features Heirloom Rice.

Since its inception in February 2016, Piedmont has hosted Dean Neff, Ricky Moore, Jay Pierce, and Justin Burdett to highlight Shrimp, Black Bass, Snapper, Triggerfish, Flounder, Swordfish and Tuna from North Carolina.

Chef John May + Chef Karl Worley
in conjunction with Locals Seafood & NC Catch

first course
“John Egerton”
beaten biscuits and swordfish ham
the seelbach
bourbon, cointreau, champagne, bitters

second course
“Frank Stitt”
snapper tartare and vichyssoise
the ramos gin fizz
old tom gin, cream, orange

third course
“Bill Neal”
blackened rockfish, hot sauce and turnip gratin
the american orange punch
rye, porter, orange, nutmeg

fourth course
“Edna Lewis”
shrimp and grits
the mint julep
bourbon, mint, crushed ice

fifth course
“Sheri Castle”
the best biscuits and strawberry preserves
the brandy milk punch
brandy, milk, vanilla
$65 per person | $90 with cocktails

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Hook & Vine Festival – April 30


Date: Sunday, April 30, 2017
Time: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: 602 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC
3 options for admission
Please arrive at your scheduled time


We’re at it again! The Wine Feed is partnering with the United Arts Council and Locals Seafood to bring you Hook & Vine – a seafood and wine festival.

On April 30, 2017 from 12-5PM our 5 restaurant partners will be preparing their seafood-inspired dishes in small plates for you to enjoy – all of the seafood is provided by Locals Seafood.
Each small plate will have a sample of wine that will be specifically chosen by The Wine Feed to create the perfect pairing. The Wine Feed challenges wine drinkers by sharing new wine pairings at our events and through our wine bar and wine shop.
Join the fun!

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Seafood Market and Oyster Bar coming to Downtown Raleigh

We’re excited to be a part of Transfer Co. Olde East – Food Production Hall, Market, and Gathering Place. More to come…


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RECENT CATCH INFO: Fish Landed @ Hampstead, NC
Catch method: speared by Albie Solana


Lionfish have become the poster child for invasive species issues in the western north Atlantic region. On par with zebra mussels, snakeheads, and even Asian carp in notoriety as invaders, lionfish populations continue to expand, threatening the well-being of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems, including the commercially and recreationally important fishes that depend on them. NOAA and its partners are working hard to develop ways to prevent further spread and control existing populations. – NOAA FISHERIES

>> RECIPE: Lionfish Ceviche



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Shrimp Math – DENY the Petition

They refused to do the math, so we did it. Join us in Wilmington this Wed & Thurs #catchmath #denythepetition


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Stones Bay Oysters

CATCH INFO: Shellfish Cultivated near Sneads Ferry, NC
Grower: Matthew & Kimberly Schwab – Hold Fast Oyster Co.
Cultivation Method: bottom cages

NOSE: Inviting and fresh with hints of salty seawater.
BODY: Moderate brine that doesn’t overwhelm the senses
FINISH: Pleasantly savory with a creamy finish.


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Endurance Seafood – Oriental, NC

Great to see folks like Keith being featured…great guy, great seafood, and great steward of the resource!

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Pamlico Bounty Oysters

CATCH INFO: Shellfish Cultivated in Pamlico River, NC
Growers: Robbie Mercer & Ivan Ireland
Cultivation Method: Floating Cages


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NC’s Shrimp Industry in Jeopardy

NC Shrimp Could Disappear from Your Plate from NC Catch on Vimeo.

shrimp-white-oct2014Recently, a petition was submitted by special interest groups to the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission (NCMFC) …the governing body of NC’s marine resources…to implement new regulations that will effectively shut down NC’s shrimping industry.  On Jan. 17, a public hearing will occur in front of the NCMFC to hear feedback from the citizen’s of our state, and a decision will be made whether to administer these regulations on top of what is already a heavily regulated industry.

What you need to know…

  • There is NO concern with regards to the viability or health of the shrimp fishery….it is classified by the NC MFC as NOT being overfished or being fished at unsustainable rates.  Translation…shrimp populations in NC are healthy and sustainable at current harvest rates.
  • The concern lies with the amount of bycatch (bycatch = non-targeted species) that inherently occurs while targeting shrimp with trawl nets.  Under current regulations, bycatch mainly consists of juvenile fish.  Trawls are generally a non-discriminate fishing gear when used in its pure form…catching anything in their path that cannot evade the slow moving nets…
  • …however, regulations enacted in the early 1990’s require by law that all shrimp trawl nets in NC waters utilize a Turtle Excluder Device (TED) to eliminate the accidental capture of endangered sea turtles.  The TED also eliminates larger finfish and/or large marine organisms and mammals.
  • Regulations implemented in 2015 require the use of additional bycatch reduction devices (BRD) on shrimp trawl nets that significantly reduce the incidental bycatch of juvenile finfish.  In fact, they are so effective, these devices reduced the amount of bycatch by twice the federal requirement.
  • The new regulations that are being suggested by the special interest groups will effectively strangle the shrimping industry to a point that the industry will likely collapse.  What NC shrimp will be available will be very limited and extremely expensive.  

Despite the success of the newly implemented BRDs, research is currently being done to improve and develop even more effective ways to reduce bycatch.  The commercial fishing industry is currently the 6th most regulated industry in the United States, tying the airline industry in number of regulations according to a 2014 George Mason University study.  If you enjoy eating NC shrimp, please sign the petition against the new regulations.  Let’s use common sense and innovation to reduce bycatch, not business-strangling regulation.

Educate yourself a little more…

Overview of the Shrimp Dilemma –

Fact and Fiction: Trawling for Truth –

Using Innovation to Solve Problems –

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