Visitors to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands will simultaneously be visiting the gorgeous Cape Hatteras National Seashore. One of the largest preserved parcels of the Outer Banks, the National Seashore stretches across 70 miles of shoreline, encompassing seven villages on Hatteras Island, and providing visitors with miles of undisturbed, scenic beaches as well as some of the prettiest natural drives on the East Coast.
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Catch Of The Day
Blue Crabs Are A Family Affair Along the Outer Banks
As the sun peeks up over the horizon to usher in a new day along the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds, hardworking crabbers have been up for hours baiting their crab pots and preparing for the day's work. Steadily, they guide their boats through the same waters that have provided a livelihood for their fathers and grandfathers since Native Americans introduced them to the fare more than four centuries ago.
For years, tourists have traveled to the area to take advantage of the fresh seafood that North Carolina has to offer. One of the most popular and abundant types of seafood in the state is blue crab. In fact, the state harvests about 30 million pounds annually.
Despite the availability of fresh, locally-caught blue crab, many vendors are relying on seafood sourced outside North Carolina, and sometimes even outside the country. This is a detriment to fishing families that have called the Outer Banks home for generations.
Fortunately, the tides could be turning for local fishermen.
Outer Banks Catch is a nonprofit organization that helps local fishermen by promoting the seafood industry in northeastern counties. They encourage residents and visitors to purchase only local seafood. The organization is composed of commercial fishermen, restaurant owners and other people who are interested in preserving and reviving the local seafood industry.
Look for the Outer Banks Catch logo at seafood markets, restaurants and grocery stores. That lets you know you are receiving quality blue crab found in the waters of North Carolina. It also lets you know you are putting money back into the pockets of local fishermen and their families.
Outer Banks Catch aims to serve as a knowledgeable guide to educate people on when blue crab and other seafood is available throughout the year, how to recognize if it is fresh and how to cook it.
Speaking of cooking, there are a variety of easy and delectable dishes to whip up while you’re enjoying your time along the Outer Banks. The easiest way to enjoy them is steamed over a boil of seafood seasoning and your favorite beer. You can also add the crabmeat to appetizers like stuffed mushrooms, or make a hot crab dip for your next party. Blue crab meat also makes delicious crab cakes your whole family will enjoy.
To find retailers and restaurants that support fishermen throughout the Outer Banks, go to OuterBanksCatch.com. You can also learn more about the state's seafood industry at NC-Seafood.org.