Taste of the OBX: Outer Banks Catch
Mouthwatering seafood is one of many things the Outer Banks region of North Carolina is famous for. Commercial fishing is part of the heritage here with generations of fishermen earning a living (not always an easy one) from bringing fresh, local, seasonal fish and seafood from their boat to your table. In fact, the Outer Banks is crucial to North Carolina's commercial fishing industry not only for its high revenues, but also for its unique and diversified ecosystem that contributes to the year-round availability of fish and shellfish in our local Atlantic waters.
What is Outer Banks Catch?
Despite the availability of plentiful catch, did you know that 80% of the seafood served nationally is imported? Did you know that only 2% of that imported seafood is FDA inspected?
That's where local organizations like Outer Banks Catch come in. They serve a dual purpose to preserve the heritage, legacy and security of the local watermen whose multi-generational families have earned a living farming the ocean despite the harsh and adverse conditions—while also providing its consumers with the freshest, safest and healthiest seafood on the market.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, much of the fish and seafood was harvested for sustenance here locally. But with the advances in transportation, distribution and technology, the Outer Banks seafood was brought on to the market. By the 19th century, commercial fishing was a crucial element of the local OBX economy.
Currently, the commercial fishing industry is getting hit hard and losing this vital part of our Outer Banks history, heritage and economy. OBX commercial fishing families are in danger of disappearing due to ever-changing rules and regulations, increased fuel costs, and the rising competition from imported seafood.
"According to the NC Division of Marine Fisheries, the influx of cheap imported fish and shellfish has driven down prices to those earned in the 1960s. As a result, many fishermen are being forced to find other professions, and the long, hard hours in exchange for low pay are deterring future generations from carrying on the family business," states Outer Banks Catch.
What can be done to help support local Outer Banks fishermen?
So what can you do about this? Shop and buy local, of course, and ask specifically for Outer Banks Catch products by name when you dine or shop. You can also find a list of Outer Banks Catch "Fishermen Approved" restaurants to help guide you. If you're thinking of making the most of your OBX vacation rental kitchen, you can also peruse these local stores and seafood markets who carry Outer Banks Catch products.
A dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy by increasing the demand for local seafood in restaurants and markets. The Outer Banks Catch website is a wonderful resource for everything you want to know about our local OBX seafood. You can also find out which seafood is in season on the Outer Banks, read up on some frequently asked questions about Outer Banks Catch—and they offer some great seafood cooking tips, tricks and recipes. You can be sure they are all fishermen approved, and we're pretty sure they know what they're talking about!
Thanks in advance for shopping and buying locally, especially when it comes to seafood. Our OBX fishermen and their families certainly appreciate it.