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Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013 11:55 pm

MOREHEAD CITY — Two local commercial fishermen are concerned about the possible impact of having an imported seafood processing facility coming to North Carolina, but the state Department of Commerce said it’s going to be helpful, not harmful.

RC Creations LLC, a division of Acme Smoked Fish Corp. of New York, is planning to build a seafood processing facility in Pender County, near Currie. This facility will be used to process imported fresh and frozen seafood into ready-to-eat products that will be shipped domestically and internationally.

Bradley Styron of Quality Seafood in Cedar Island and Mark Hooper of Hooper Family Seafood in Smyrna said in an Oct. 20 News-Times article, “Locals criticize import plant,” they were concerned this plant is going to hurt the local commercial fishing industry. Mr. Styron said local fishermen can’t compete with imports, while Mr. Hooper said local fishermen need facilities to process the locally caught seafood.

In direct response to Mr. Styron and Mr. Hooper’s statements, Josh Ellis, N.C. Department of Commerce deputy secretary for communications and external affairs, said RC Creations’ new facility won’t compete with the local seafood industry.

“The company will be processing seafood product that are currently being processed at other locations around the world,” he said. “The only change is that the processing will now be done in North Carolina. These products, such as salmon, aren’t found off the North Carolina coast. RC Creations’ decision to locate in Pender County strengthens our state’s food processing industry.”

Mr. Ellis said the additional commerce the facility will bring will boost the state’s imports and its ports. He also said the project will create more than 120 “good-paying jobs” for Pender County and the surrounding area.

Acme Smoked Fish responded to the local fishermen’s concerns, as well. Richard Nordt, Acme Smoked Fish vice president of manufacturing, said the company understands the complexities of both the seafood industry and the difficulties of being a smaller, family-owned business.

“It may be true that the local fisheries and fishermen would like to see a processing facility in the North Carolina and Wilmington areas,” he said. “It’s our hope that being the staple business in the Pender Commerce Park will, in fact, attract future food and beverage organizations to the park and the area.”

Like Mr. Ellis, Mr. Nordt said the facility won’t compete with the local seafood market. He said the facility will instead “enhance consumer choices for quality ‘specialty’ seafood items.”

Mr. Nordt said both the state and Pender County governments had been “intricate” in keeping the company focused on the Pender Commerce Park, the Wilmington area and North Carolina. He said they’re confident providing the jobs the processing facility will create will help both the state and Pender County.

“The infrastructure being put in place as a result of this project will allow Pender County to market the park for other businesses,” Mr. Nordt said, “and may even be able to attract a traditional seafood processing facility to help the local fisheries and fishermen.”

The announcement of the facility coming to North Carolina, along with the local fishermen’s concerns, has garnered out-of-state attention. Michael Lodsin of Palmer, Mass., said he noticed the News-Times article on a seafood website.

“It’s my understanding the local fishermen are concerned because this will be used to process imported seafood,” he said. “Rather than complain, the fishermen should be doing some aquaculture. We’ve become a lazy people. Nobody does the entrepreneurial thing anymore.”

Contact Mike Shutak at 252-726-7081 ext. 206, email mike@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

13 comments:

  • John posted at 10:38 am on Sat, Nov 2, 2013.

    John Posts: 132

    In one breath the commercial fishermen is saying that population is killing our fisheries, Then in the next breath they say our fisheries is great.?? How can this be. You say that the fisheries is not depleted and is strong and then you say the fisheries is bing depleted by population! When a regulation is put in place to protect a fish stock you scream they are plentiful. You are playing the not me game! The fisheries is bing depleted by the commercial fishermen. 6000 Comm fishermen land more fish most of the time every year than the 500,000 rec fishermen do! If 6000 catches more than 500.000 you tell me who is hurting the fish stock more?

     
  • morehood city res posted at 9:19 am on Tue, Oct 29, 2013.

    morehood city res Posts: 280

    i agree 100 %, to feed the masses farm raised fish is a necessity. the trout farms of the mtns are a good example as well as the catfish, bass and tilapia elsewhere. there are some cobia operations in virginia and the folks in wilmington are trying flounder. i don't know that the wildcaught is completely polluted though. the bacteria from run off affects clams and oysters first because they are filter feeders. offshore species like grouper, snapper trigger etc. may never eat a clam or oyster let alone see one, except for when they are juveniles.

     
  • DeadBolt posted at 8:18 am on Tue, Oct 29, 2013.

    DeadBolt Posts: 330

    Can anyone post their startup costs for 1 of these operations?

    I suspect this would be 1 of many stepping stones.

     
  • Sheepshead posted at 6:37 pm on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    Sheepshead Posts: 38

    Moorehood city Most peopel think if it is not caught in the sound or ocean here it is considered imported, And alot of people are thinking that farm raised is raised in dirty water and full of dangerous Chemicals. Witch is also not true. If this plant helps the sell of these farm raised fish,shrimp, Then it will help our state. Not hurt it.

     
  • morehood city res posted at 2:00 pm on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    morehood city res Posts: 280

    sheepshead, i am having trouble finding anywhere in the article or these viewer comments, including mine, where someone stated "they are not good" in reference to farm raised fish.

     
  • francis posted at 11:57 am on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    francis Posts: 2344

    Whew !! , None of all this matters. If they get their permits, they will build. A year or so from now all will be forgotten.

     
  • Sheepshead posted at 9:40 am on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    Sheepshead Posts: 38

    Farm-raised fish are bred and reared in raceways or ponds or pens or recirculation systems with good water quality. Good water quality is essential to proper growth and survival of farmed fish. Good water quality is maintained using best management practices, reducing the use of chemicals in aquaculture.
    Best management practices include stocking disease free seeds and fingerlings, providing aeration and dissolved oxygen, feeding nutritionally complete feeds and minimizing stress on the fish. Chemicals are highly restricted in the fish farming industry and there are only six drugs approved by the FDA for use in food fish aquaculture. Farm-raised fish sent to markets are chemical free and some can qualify for organic food status.
    Farm-raised fish are fed a high quality feed with corn and soybean and fishmeal protein along with vitamins and minerals for a balanced and complete diet. Farmed fish convert this feed to muscle protein at the rate of 1.5 to 2 pounds of fish feed per pound of weight gain. Wild fish feed on a diet of other fish and marine organisms. Wild fish convert that diet to muscle protein at the rate of 10-12 pounds of food per pound of weight gain.
    The fish waste in ponds and recirculation aquaculture systems is converted to non-toxic compounds through the natural process of nitrification by benign bacterial action. The water is reused to conserve our ground water resources. Wild fish grow in waters that contain chemicals from rainwater runoff, sewage treatment plants, yards and fields and the waste of other marine organisms. Rainwater runoff often contains the waste and fecal coliform bacteria of humans or other warm-blooded animals. Almost every other kind of food we eat is farm-raised.
    All vegetables and meats sold in stores and in restaurants are grown on farms; even “wild rice” is farmed. It’s against the law to sell most wild-harvested animals except for some fish and seafood. U.S. seafood consumption is 15 pounds per capita per year. That demand exceeds the capacity of the domestic fishery necessitating the importation of seafood. In 2012 the U.S. national trade deficit for fish and seafood was $10.96 billion, which is 1.5% of the entire U.S. trade deficit.
    Over 80% of seafood consumed in the U.S. and Carteret County is imported. Of all imported seafood, approximately 50% is farm-raised. Most of the fish and seafood consumed in the U.S. is farm-raised.
    Following is a list of farm-raised fish and seafood: tilapia (100% farm-raised), catfish (100% farm-raised), salmon (60% farm-raised), shrimp (90% farm-raised), clams, scallops, oysters, mussels, abalone, red drum, hybrid striped bass, rainbow trout, crawfish, yellow perch, largemouth bass and bluegill bream, flounder, black sea bass, queen conch, eel, cobia, carp, barramundi, soft-shell blue crabs, sturgeon and caviar, sushi nori and other sea vegetables.
    The above facts speak for themselves to address your comment about farm-raised fish that “they are not good,” and I would challenge you to conduct a blind taste test among consumers to answer your statement that “there is a distinct difference.”
    Sources: Seafood Health Facts, NOAA Fishwatch, USDA Economic Research Service, About Seafood, U.S. Census Bureau, N.J. Department of Agriculture, USDA-National Institute Food/Agriculture, NOAA Office of Science and Technology.

     
  • morehood city res posted at 8:05 pm on Sun, Oct 27, 2013.

    morehood city res Posts: 280

    it may be safe to say that our country on a whole eats more salmon and talapia than any other fish. not the case locally of course since consumers can choose between dead slobster, outhouse steakhouse or a good local seafood restaurant preferrably one that is carteret catch. acme is just that, a plant to process food for the masses.we have some catfish and bass farms in NC maybe they can benefit from such a plant. in TX they raise speck trout and drum in hatcheries. if we did that maybe we could benefit from such a mega food factory. the hatcheries come with their down sides but technology is improving as far as circulating systems etc. not sure what the best solution is, unfortunately sometimes there is none

     
  • francis posted at 1:27 pm on Sun, Oct 27, 2013.

    francis Posts: 2344

    dc, yes and yes.

     
  • dc posted at 9:07 am on Sun, Oct 27, 2013.

    dc Posts: 2315

    You think Basnight helped with the Dare Co. Facility? Did they decide to locate in Currie because it's near the Port of Wilmington and I-40?

     
  • DeadBolt posted at 8:43 am on Sun, Oct 27, 2013.

    DeadBolt Posts: 330

    Yea, i love the last comment, the locals have grown LAZY <--------

    No, i suspect we have grown wise to oppression , and the simple facts that when we continue to operate in the same way, and restrict ourselves to no end, that nothing is going to change.

    Insanity is when folks continue to do the same thing and expect a different outcome.

     
  • clammerhead posted at 4:11 am on Sun, Oct 27, 2013.

    clammerhead Posts: 676

    Pay close attention... Numerous places this article states that the facility won't compete with the local seafood industry..This is just one of them..

    " Like Mr. Ellis, Mr. Nordt said the facility won’t compete with the local seafood market. He said the facility will instead “enhance consumer choices for quality ‘specialty’ seafood items.”

    How many times has that been said about other businesses?

    Here's a point to ponder..If it won't compete, how can it enhance consumer choices?

    That is like saying, " My house won't block your ocean view, if you look between it and my neighbors house."

    There is a whole lot more double talk in this article, but I'll get to them later...

    I think I'll eat this elephant one bite at a time..

    Clammerhead

     
  • MyronASmith posted at 1:00 am on Sun, Oct 27, 2013.

    MyronASmith Posts: 75

    Bradley Styron thanks for expressing my concerns also. The state provided Dare County a marketing facility for local Seafood, but not for other areas.

     

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