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Group Hopes to Serve Up More Local Seafood

Posted October 7, 2007

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— Sit down in a restaurant along North Carolina's coast, and you probably expect that the seafood on the table is local - but that is often not the case. Carteret Catch, however, is trying to change that.

The group identifies restaurants and retailers serving seafood caught in Carteret County. Ones that do can hang a distinctive sign in their windows.

"Often, people think that because they're in a coastal area that, of course, they're eating fresh local seafood, which they are not," Pam Morris, with Carteret Catch, said.

Fresh local seafood has a hard time finding its way onto restaurant menus due to competition from inexpensive imports.

Bradley Styrons, owner of the Fish House in Beaufort, said he hopes consumers will demand local seafood, such as the fresh shrimp caught on the coast that he serves.

"The consumer doesn't know. I think a lot of times if they did know what they were eating, they would demand something different," Styrons said.

Sharpies Bar and Grille, on the Beaufort waterfront, participates in the Carteret Catch program. Executive chef Jerry Frivance said he is proud to serve local seafood.

"The stuff I get was swimming early in the morning or the day before I get it in. And it's right here," he said. "The stuff I pick out locally I guarantee is nice."

Restaurateurs said local fishermen are betting on diners picking up on Carteret Catch's mission: to educate visitors to the coast, promote local seafood and teach the value of fresh fish.

"I would believe if you sat down and had some local seafood, compared to some frozen stuff that was sent in from Taiwan, you could tell the difference," Styrons said.


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  • All child molesters should die Oct 7, 2007


    Is that true, that Red Lobster uses frozen shrimp from Indonesia or China? I'd never heard that! Yuck!

  • All child molesters should die Oct 7, 2007

    I'd rather pay more, for fresh local seafood, than save money on seafood that came from inexpensive imports! I mean, if you're AT THE BEACH, you would think you'd be eating fresh seafood.

    I learn something new everyday, I guess. Now, I know!

  • patriotsrevenge Oct 7, 2007

    Barbecue shrimp, shrimp salad, boiled shrimp, shrimp burgers, grilled shrimp.....


  • Heather Oct 7, 2007

    Good job Carteret Catch! We always buy local, wild seafood over the imported. I'll definitely keep my eyes open for the restaurants displaying the signs.

  • rogerkneebend Oct 7, 2007

    I had no idea that this was the case. I haven't been to the coast in too long a time, but our tradition has always been to go to "The Sanitary" Restaurant in Morehead Beach. Always loved going there.

  • atozca Oct 7, 2007

    I applaud Carteret Catch for their efforts and wish them and the restaurants much success. I believe their is a difference between local fresh seafood and frozen. We always buy fresh shrimp from the locals and have "gump" night (shrimp scampi, fried shrimp, cold boiled shrimp, hot boiled shrimp, grilled shrimp, etc)when we go to the coast.

  • Rolling Along Oct 7, 2007

    Works for me! I will definitely spend my money when I know something is produced locally. Average dinner travels about 1500 miles before it hits your plate. That is insane when we have such a bountiful harvest available to us right in NC.

  • gopanthers Oct 7, 2007

    Those of you that enjoy Seafood whether it's local or not Enjoy! Personally I can't stand Seafood. Makes me sick. Literally.

  • drnc Oct 7, 2007

    Here in Greenville, the Dixie Queen serves fresh, locally-caught seafood. It's great. Yet, I still see people queued up at Red Lobster waiting for frozen shrimp from Indonesia or China. Go figure.