Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture

North Carolina Sea Grant provides expert assistance to the state’s diverse seafood and fishing industries, with staff members serving on advisory panels and connecting researchers to people who work in commercial and recreational fishing, aquaculture, and seafood. For decades, Coastwatch has chronicled how such projects help coastal communities sustain livelihoods, coastal culture, and the long-term health of our fisheries.

Are We Accidentally Catching More Sea Turtles Than We Thought?
in the Winter 2024 issue
A new model shows when and why turtles along the Southeast coast are at risk.

Is Climate Change Creating More. . . Pirates?
in the Winter 2024 issue
Dwindling fish populations from warming waters could increase maritime crime.

SHRINKING HABITATS: How Have Oyster Reefs Changed Over the Last Six Decades?
in the Fall 2023 issue
In a crucial North Carolina estuary, scientists combed through historical data to better understand both biodiversity and seafood supply.

Who’s Afraid of New Seafood?
in the Fall 2023 issue
Packed with 16 grams of healthy protein per serving, seasoned catfish skin chips make for a tasty treat.

BEHIND THE RESEARCHER: Matt Damiano, Warming Waters, and Sustaining Iconic Fish
in the Fall 2023 issue
“We have a rapidly changing landscape of both the ocean environment and the makeup of who is going out to catch fish.”

Cultivating Coastal Waters
North Carolina’s ShellCast App Goes Regional
in the Spring 2023 issue
A digital tool for North Carolina’s shellfish growers soon will forecast last-minute lease closures in Florida and South Carolina, too.

Our Coast, Our Future:
The 2022 North Carolina Coastal Conference
videos, photos, resources
in the Winter 2022 issue
They came to Raleigh from across North Carolina, discussed urgent and emerging issues affecting our coast, forged new ties, and literally devoured new research for lunch — and you can watch it here.

Sustainable Fisheries
Keeping Sharks Off Gear
with Why So Many Sharks Die and What We Can Do About It, a video from Sci NC
and with Sara Mirabilio’s presentation at the 2022 North Carolina Coastal Conference (video)
in the Winter 2022 issue
“To an approaching shark, even a weak electrical impulse can be disorientating or physically uncomfortable.”

Cultivating the  Sea: 
Is There a Profitable Market for Farm-Fresh Black Sea Bass?
in the Autumn 2022 issue
Thanks to breakthroughs from a team at UNCW, this seafood favorite could reach many more consumers.

Is There a Future for Oyster Relaying in North Carolina?
in the Autumn 2022 issue
For years, oyster farmers in our state have reported greater numbers of healthy oysters in areas that they harvest.

What’s So Special About North Carolina’s Oysters? 
Savoring the NC Oyster Trail
in the Autumn 2022 issue
Farms, tastes, and tales — now foodies and adventurers can explore the magic of the North Carolina oyster.

From Hurricane Hazel to the Morning Light:
Coastal Carolina Through a Shrimper’s Eyes
in the Summer 2022 issue
After using scrap metal to build his own boat, Harry Bryant escaped waterspouts and a lightning strike and earned a living on the open water for 32 years.

New Links in the Sea-to-Table Chain:
The North Carolina Local Food Council Responds in the Pandemic’s Darkest Hour

in the Fall 2021 issue
The loss of restaurant and other food service markets shook the commercial fishing industry to its core in the first half of 2020.

The Anglers Who Are Best at What They Do — And More
in the Summer 2021 issue
In this study most anglers were locals, and most ended the day empty- handed.

In the Wake of Storms
in the Spring 2021 issue
Even as our state’s capacity for seafood processing declines, wholesalers and distributors have built a network that rapidly deploys initial aid to coastal communities after hurricanes.

Magic at 64.4 Degrees
in the Spring 2021 issue
Diligence and hard-earned expertise contributed to a recent breakthrough that has positioned farmed striped bass for commercial success. And scientists behind the innovation say they couldn’t have done it without another key ingredient: luck.

Blue Economy
in the Spring 2021 issue
Farmers and fishers have much in common in the way of obstacles and opportunities.

Life on a ‘Finger between Two Bays’
in the Winter 2020 issue
As North Carolina’s shellfish aquaculture industry booms, new and established growers alike turn to Jimmy Morris for sage advice.

Sharks, Shrimp, and Computerized Fish IDs
in the Autumn 2020 issue
Are we catching more shrimp offshore during the winter and spring?

Blood Draw at the Horseshoe Corral
in the Autumn 2020 issue
An essential medical safety test used around the world depends on horseshoe crab blood, and scientists may have discovered the key to a sustainable supply.

Blacktip Sharks, Historic Dock Photos, and Hand-Crank Electrofishing
in the Summer 2020 issue
What will historic dock photos reveal about fisheries?

Zoom In on Aquaculture
in Spring 2020
A blue crab starts life as a microscopic larva that drifts through the water eating zooplankton and plant materials.

New NC Shellfish Initiative Aids in Florence Damage Assessments
in the Autumn 2018 issue

Spreading the Word about Southern Oysters
in the Spring 2017 issue

Growing Better Bivalves: Science, Local Knowledge Enhance N.C. Business
in the Summer 2017 issue

Restoring Our Oysters: Dealing with the Sponge Problem
in the Summer 2017 issue

Growing Oysters at Home in Coastal North Carolina
in the Holiday 2016 issue

Planting the Seeds for a Common Wealth
in the Autumn 2015 issue

Does it Really Start at Home?
How North Carolina Marine Habitats Influence Black Sea Bass Growth and Maturity
in the Holiday 2015 issue

Home in a Oyster Shell:
New Oyster Aquaculture Operations Grow Seed, Take Root

in the Winter 2014 issue

Coastal Science Serves North Carolina:
Sea Grant Funds New Research Projects

in the Spring 2014 issue

The Seafood Safety Squad:
Ensuring Quality of Coastal Delicacies

in the Spring 2014 issue

Gene Groups Key to Embryo Development
in the Summer 2014 issue

Taming the Trout: Burgers Go Fishing
in the Autumn 2014 issue

Moving Fish:
Supply and Demand in North Carolina’s Seafood Industry

in the Holiday 2014 issue

A Center for Growing Seafood, Testing Ideas
in the Winter 2013 issue

Marine Debris, Oyster Health among New BCSRP Projects
in the Summer 2013 issue

Sailing Through Stormy Seas:
Fish Houses Change to Stay Afloat

in the Autumn 2013 issue

Sea Grass Sustains Fisheries
in the Autumn 2013 issue

Size Matters: Testing a New Mesh Size for Black Sea Bass
in the Holiday 2013 issue

Hooks in the Gulf Stream: Captains and Scientists Reel in Data
in the Winter 2012 issue

Aquaculture: Science Working for the Economy
in the Holiday 2012 issue

In Search of a Better Way: Adjusting Shrimp Trawl Gear
in the Holiday 2012 issue

Reworking Turtle Excluder Devices on Summer Flounder Trawls
in the Holiday 2012 issue

Citizen Science Bolsters Oyster Restoration Efforts
in the Holiday 2012 issue

Fins to the Left, Fins to the Right: Netting Sharks to Snare Data for Fisheries Management
in the Spring 2011 issue

Counting Kings:Text Reporting Catches On
in the Summer 2011 issue

Winds of Change: Shrimpers Plan for the Futureta
in the Holiday 2011 issue

Sustainability Series: Local Governments In Action
in the Winter 2010 issue

Harvests of Perseverance: Sea Grant-Funded Innovations Showcased at State Aquaculture Conference
in the Spring 2010 issue

2010 Fishery Resource Grants: Ushering Benefits, Rewards for Coastal Communities, Ecosystems
in the Summer 2010 issue

Science Serving the Coast: Specter of Oil Spurs Research Response
in the Autumn 2010 issue

Species on the Brink: Latest Challenges for River Herring Research
in the Winter 2009 issue

Win-Win Research: Pilot Studies Help Fishermen, Species
in the Summer 2009 issue

Return of the Bay Scallops
in the Holiday 2009 issue

A Pound of Prevention
in the Holiday 2009 issue

Finding Fish in Lots of Water
in the Winter 2008 issue

Research Examines Impacts and Options for Fish Farming
in the Spring 2008 issue

Keeping Local Seafood Afloat: Workshop Explores Consumer Trends and Marketing Strategies
in the Early Summer 2008 issue

Recognizing Quality at Your Local Seafood Counter
in the Autumn 2008 issue

Wild Caught: The Life and Struggles of an American Fishing Town
in the Winter 2007 issue

Curbing the Import Appetite: Selling American Shrimp in the U.S. Market
in the Winter 2007 issue

No One Ring: Testing the Effects of Cull Rings on Crab Landings
in the Winter 2007 issue

Drifting Along: Sea Grant Scientists Study Oyster Larvae
in the Spring 2007 issue

Finding Flounder: Testing Low-Profile Gill Nets
in the Spring 2007 issue

Sea Bass Pots: Bigger Mesh May Yield Larger Fish
in the Early Summer 2007 issue

Oral History: Documenting Down East Fishing Traditions
in the High Season 2007 issue

Fish House Study Quantifies Decline
in the High Season 2007 issue

Dog Days: Estimating Spiny Dogfish Populations
in the High Season 2007 issue

Local Catch: Watermen Save Ocracoke Fish House
in the Holiday 2007 issue

lead photo by Baxter Miller