The topic for the latest edition of the Radio Hatteras interview show, “To the Point,” was seafood — not just any seafood, but seafood that is locally harvested by commercial fishermen who catch a diverse species of fish, oysters, shrimp, and crabs off Hatteras Island and all of the Outer Banks.
“To the Point” is hosted by Irene Nolan, editor of The Island Free Press, and she had two guests for this interview, who have something important in common. They are passionate about fishing for a living and all that it involves and about spreading the word about locally caught seafood and our area’s rich commercial fishing heritage.
Sandy Semans of Stumpy Point on the Dare County mainland is a retired newspaper editor who has worked in the commercial fishing industry, is married to a commercial fisherman, and is now a free-lance writer and the new interim executive director of Outer Banks Catch, an organization that was formed to promote local seafood, what it means to the area’s economy and its commercial fishing heritage.
Lynne Foster of Hatteras village owns and operates the Albatross Fleet of charter boats with her husband, Ernie, who has done his share of commercial fishing when he’s not taking anglers to the Gulf Stream. Lynne is a writer who has been a regular food columnist for the Island Free Press, focusing, of course, on fresh, local seafood. She also was instrumental in beginning Day at the Docks, Hatteras Island’s very successful celebration of its watermen and fishing heritage.
Semans covered some of the history of Outer Banks Catch, which was officially created by the Dare County Board of Commissioners in about 2010 and, with the blessing and cooperation of the county, has now become a private, non-profit.
According to Dare County’s public information officer, Dorothy Hester, Outer Banks Catch actually grew out of the county’s advisory committee on working watermen.
The catch program includes outreach through educational materials in both printed and online forms, presence at appropriate events and promoting restaurants that serve local seafood. It also includes other commercial fishing industry members including seafood retailers, wholesale fish houses, fishermen and industry supporters.
“There are more than 1,500 commercial fishing and shellfish licenses in the four-county OBC region,” Semans says. “Add that to the number of retail seafood markets, seafood dealers, delivery drivers, packers, fish processors, crab pickers, oyster shuckers, commercial equipment suppliers, boat repairs and other businesses including restaurants that rely on products from the industry, and the job creation of this historic industry is considerable. And all those jobs continually pump money back into the local economy year round. “
Outer Banks Catch, she says, “is not a fishing organization nor a lobbying group. It doesn’t represent restaurants or fish dealers. It is about educating the public to ensure that commercial fishing – one of the state’s oldest industries – remains viable and that it’s history is known and appreciated. Our only constituency is seafood!”
In the radio interview, Semans explains how local restaurants can join Outer Banks Catch and promote the local seafood that they serve.
Foster talks about the Day at the Docks event, which, this year, will be on Saturday, Sept. 17, on the waterfront in Hatteras village, and how it aims to educate consumers and feature fresh local seafood.
Other topics Foster discusses is supporting restaurants that serve local seafood, how to tell if a restaurant is selling local seafood or something else, maybe even something imported — don’t be shy, she says, just ask the server directly.
Foster and Semans also discuss what seafood is in season at different times of the year, how to buy it and make sure its fresh, and how to prepare it yourself
To listen to the interview, scroll down to the “To the Point” logo and click on the arrow.
“To the Point” is broadcast on the island’s community radio station,101.5 FM on southern Hatteras and 99.9 FM on northern Hatteras, at 5 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month. It is repeated on the second and fourth Sunday. Those who don’t live on Hatteras can listen to the show on Sundays through live streaming at www.radiohatteras.org.
MORE ABOUT RADIO HATTERAS
Radio Hatteras is Hatteras Island’s community, non-profit radio station and depends on grants, memberships, and underwriting.
It broadcasts around the clock with news — including such things as surfing and fishing reports — community announcements, music, and special programs. The station is also now streamed live. To listen, go to www.radiohatteras.org.
Our community radio station also needs your support, and you can give that by purchasing a membership or by underwriting the station if you are a business or another community non-profit.
Radio Hatteras memberships are $50 for a family, $25 for an individual and $10 for a student. Mail memberships and other contributions to Radio Hatteras, P.O. Box 339, Frisco, NC 27936.
E-mail [email protected] or call (252) 995-6000 for information about underwriting opportunities.