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Now is the time to support local fisheries

Obviously, there is a lot of talk right now about the COVID-19 issue and how it impacts the economy.  And we are all doing our best, based upon our own resources.  During the time when we are trying to adjust to the “new normal”, we should also remember that the “old normal” is still out there, and there are things we can do to support our local fisheries, for the commercial and recreational fishermen alike.

During this time, our commercial fishermen are still out on the waters bringing locally caught seafood to the docks to be sold.  And right now, they need our help.  By adding, or continuing to add local seafood to our meals, we can support the fishermen and all the coastal communities that depend on bringing their catch back to shore.  During the current virus issue, the commercial fishermen are struggling because of restaurant closings locally and nationally, as well as the collapse of overseas foreign markets.

Fisheries, both commercial and recreational, constitute a large portion of the NC and global economy.  While we are under the current Executive Order #121, our Governor Cooper has ordered that “All individuals currently in the state of North Carolina stay at their “residence” except as allowed by this Executive Order”.  Obviously, one of the exemptions from this order involves being able to leave our homes to obtain groceries, food and supplies, among other exemptions (please read the Executive Order #121 for more information).  Please, as you plan your trips to shop for food, consider including locally caught seafood to your list.  It will help the local economy and it is healthy in the process.

We have attached a list of seafood markets in our areas.  Find the one closest to you and call first to see if they are open, and if they are, place an order to be picked up while maintaining social distancing.  Some fishermen are also offering delivery while abiding by EO 121.  A good way to keep up with the changing landscape of who is and who isn’t still open, a great resource is the North Carolina Fisheries Association FaceBook page and check out their “Posts” for updates.  Other great resource include Carteret Catch and NC Catch websites and FaceBook pages.

These are unprecedented times, but we at Coastal Carolina Riverwatch (Crystal Coast Waterkeeper and White Oak-New Riverkeeper Alliance) believe that we will get through this…together.  We will continue to fight for healthy fisheries all along our coasts.  Please support your local fishermen, buy local produce and support our local businesses.  And if you are a recreational fisherman, get out there and enjoy the fisheries that we are so blessed to have.  And consider sharing your catch with a neighbor.  We WILL get through this…

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