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Friends, I’d like to share a new writing project I’ve started, called Better Know a Fish!
Ever since my very first pet fish (two swordtails and tiger barbs in a large jar… no they did not live long), I’ve been a huge fan of our finned friends. I admire the freedom that fish have as they swim and maneuver underwater, as if weightless. I’m fascinated by their tremendous diversity, and their contributions to our own species and society — even if they are frequently overlooked in favor of things feathered and furred.
As I write in the blog’s introduction, “Why Get to Know a Fish?”:
Click image to view Facebook photo album
North Carolina Sea Grant (my current employer) has a little educational DVD called The Amazing Oyster. In it, oysters are touted almost as the miracle beast. They filter plankton and maintain water quality… provide crucial habitat and food for fish and other marine life… they’re harvested and cultured as valuable seafood…
And now, oysters also provide jobs.
I spent last Tuesday out on Cedar Island, North Carolina participating in a media outing put together by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, showcasing a federal economic stimulus project that’s creating jobs through oyster reef restoration efforts. Commercial fishermen and contractors are being paid to add oyster shell and rock substrate into inshore waters, to attract the planktonic larvae of oysters (much like how artificial coral reefs attract coral larvae).
Organizers say that the $5 million funding adds thousands of job hours to the Pamlico Sound economy, and biologists hope that the eventual reefs will serve as metapopulation sources for oyster populations throughout the sound.
For me, it was a gorgeous day out on the water. Click through the Facebook link for the photo essay I compiled at the end of the day. I would’ve live tweeted, but I could only shake my fist at AT&T, whilst the Verizon user next to me tweeted on our boat ride in the middle of the marshy bay…
Spring is officially here. That means it’s time to switch over to the spring edition of your Local Catch: North Carolina Seafood Availability wallet cards!
You might be familiar with our abundant vegetables and crops, but North Carolina also is home to a unique and diverse range of fish and shellfish. Local and visiting food lovers can use the spring Local Catch card to explore our state’s spring seafood selection.
Part of a four-season series, Local Catch listings are based on past commercial fishing landings in the state. These historic availabilities are determined in part by the natural migration and life cycle of each species, as well as ongoing federal and state fishery closures and limits.
So for any given year, your fish market visit might yield fewer or more species than we listed. To find updates on N.C. closures and openings for a certain fishery or fishing gear, visit www.ncfisheries.net/procs.
The Local Catch cards were developed in 2007 in partnership with the North Carolina Aquariums. They are a companion to the North Carolina Seafood Availability Chart produced by Sea Grant, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDACS).
The public can order free copies of the Local Catch wallet cards and the seafood availability chart at ncseagrant.org/seafood