N.C. Catch

Commercial fishermen, seafood vendors, marketers and government officials will convene in Southport Thursday and Friday, February 6-7, for the third annual N.C. Catch Summit, a conference designed to boost awareness and consumption of seafood harvested in North Carolina.

“We’re trying to stabilize the fishing community … and fortify the back end of the business,” said Jon Haag of Haag and Sons Seafood. Haag, an active member of the local Brunswick Catch group, said people at all levels of the fishing business want to boost awareness about locally harvested seafood and develop broader markets.

The summit kicks off with a dinner from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on February 6 at the Southport Community Building. Local restaurants, including Mr. P’s Bistro, Bella Cucina and Fishy Fishy Café, will prepare a buffet-style meal featuring North Carolina seafood. Advance registration is required and the fee is $20 at the door.

The featured speaker will be Greg Fisk, an Alaska fisherman and owner of SeaFisk Consulting and Management. Fisk’s presentation is called “Making ‘Wild’ Number One Again: Some thoughts from the salmon marketing wars.”

Friday will feature a series of seminars and start with a coffee hour at 8:30 a.m. After a welcome at 9:30 a.m., participants will hear from Brunswick Catch’s Jackie Varnum, president of Garland’s Seafood; Jimmy Johnson, a fishhouse operator and member of N.C. Catch, and Jim Bradshaw of Brunswick County Economic Development.

Scott Baker of N.C. Sea Grant will speak at 10 a.m. on trends and the status of seafood.

Fisk will present a marketing case study at 10:30 a.m., followed by a luncheon sponsored by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

There will be a panel presentation on seafood marketing at 1 p.m. and a panel discussion on getting inside the grocery supply chain at 2:30 p.m.

Persons may register for the event by calling Lisa Humphrey at 910-962-2490 or by pointing their browsers to www.nccatch.org/news-events/.