Fresh, safe seafood from North Carolina waters

Links and Downloads

The best kind of seafood is safe seafood. Our extension staff works tirelessly on initiatives to make North Carolina’s seafood safer, fresher and more flavorful. We also help local seafood dealers and fishermen learn how to promote their catch and reach new markets in today’s global economy.

North Carolina Sea Grant works in the following areas:

Marketing Efforts

storefront1Americans have an appetite for seafood, and consumption continues to rise. Sea Grant is involved in several efforts to help local fishermen and seafood dealers distinguish their fresh products from the competition. Our extension specialists helped develop and guide Carteret CatchBrunswick Catch, Outer Banks Catch and Ocracoke Fresh, programs designed to sustain the livelihood and heritage of local fishing industries through public marketing and education.

Sea Grant was involved in starting the community supported fishery concept, and regularly funds surveys about consumers' seafood preferences.

In addition, Sea Grant's specialists hold frequent workshops to help fishermen and seafood dealers develop business marketing skills. In 2012, the Local Catch Seafood Summit helped catch groups communicate the value of local seafood to consumers, the lifestyle of fishermen and the challenges commercial seafood producers face to satisfy the increasing demand for North Carolina seafood. Presentations from the summit are available here.

Consumer Awareness

Partner Information

marketshrimpConsumers need to know where their seafood is coming from, and Sea Grant is helping make the public more aware of the seasonal availability of fish and shellfish. The popularity of our North Carolina Seafood Availability Chart inspired the Local Catch series — wallet-sized cards highlighting the availability of seafood species in local markets and restaurants throughout the year. Click on summer, autumn, winter or spring to download the corresponding card. Sea Grant also helps educate people about the importance of seafood quality through our popular Quality Counts consumer guide.

Consumers must be vigilant as well. Sea Grant recently developed Quality Counts: A Consumer’s Guide to Selecting North Carolina Seafood to help shoppers determine the quality and freshness of seafood at the market. Structured in chart format, the guide lists 11 categories of popular seafood and describes what consumers should look for and what to avoid.

To order the Seafood Availability Chart, the Quality Counts guide, or a set of the Local Catch cards, visit Free Information and Guides.

For cooks, the Mariner's Menu blog offers seafood recipes, selection tips and cooking resources. Or get a copy of the Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas seafood guide.

Science and Safety


In an increasingly global economy, the seafood business has grown into a large-scale, international industry, and the safety of our food supply is critical. Sea Grant has conducted research on adding value to seafood and produced a Blueprint on ready-to-sell products. Sea Grant also has funded many workshops for seafood dealers, processors and regulatory officials in seafood sanitation and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) safety practices.

Sea Grant's involvement in seafood technology is tied to the North Carolina State University Seafood Laboratory in Morehead City, located at the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology.

Seafood Business Development

North Carolina Sea Grant has had a strong tradition of working with seafood companies to develop value-added products and use sound business practices to ensure profitability.

A Blueprint walks businesses through the process of creating new "Ready-to-Eat" seafood products. A related spreadsheet helps companies identify the costs associated with moving from a basic recipe to a formulation for a retail product.

Sea Grant also has developed a spreadsheet to help groups or businesses develop a plan for a new Community Supported Fisheries program. And a publication walks readers through developing an Internet presence for direct marketing.

Photos: William Small, NCSG Stock, Scott Taylor