MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is partnering with the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort to offer a series of presentations on the history of four different fisheries in North Carolina.
The presentations are part of the division’s celebration of 200 Years of State Marine Fisheries Management and Conservation in North Carolina. The North Carolina General Assembly on Dec. 30, 1822, approved An Act to Prevent the Destruction of Oysters, and for Other Purposes, in the State, which restricted oyster harvest gear and prohibited the export of North Carolina oysters to other states. It was the first statewide law governing marine fisheries, and it was the beginning of state marine fisheries management in North Carolina, eventually leading to the establishment of what is now the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries and the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission.
David Bennett, curator of Maritime History for the Maritime Museum system, will give presentations on the below topics with Division of Marine Fisheries staff also on hand. The following Wednesday sessions begin at 11 a.m.:
- March 15 – North Carolina’s Oyster Boom.
- April 19 – Reevaluating the Origins of the North Carolina Menhaden Industry.
- May 17 – Shrimping in North Carolina.
- June 21 – The Early History of North Carolina’s Recreational Fishery.
The Maritime Museum has also scheduled the following 11 a.m. Thursday presentations pertaining to the history of fisheries:
- Feb. 23 – North Carolina’s Antebellum Shad & Herring Fisheries.
- March 23 – The Oyster Patrol: Early Enforcement of North Carolina’s Oyster Laws.
- Oct. 26 – North Carolina’s Crab Fishery.
Bennett, who also oversees the Maritime Museum’s Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and an master’s in Maritime History from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. His research interests focus on North Carolina’s commercial fishing industry as well as traditional workboats.