Free in-person, virtual history presentations to highlight four different fisheries in North Carolina


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.

David Bennett, the Curator of Maritime History for the Maritime Museum system, will give presentations on the below topics. Division of Marine Fisheries staff will be on hand for each presentation, as well.

Wednesday March 15 11 a.m. North Carolina’s Oyster Boom
Wednesday April 19 11 a.m. Re-evaluating the Origins of the NC Menhaden Industry
Wednesday May 17 11 a.m. Shrimping in North Carolina
Wednesday June 21 11 a.m. The Early History of North Carolina’s Recreational Fishery

All presentations will be held at that Maritime Museum, at 315 Front St., Beaufort, and livestreamed on Zoom. Admission is free. Registration is not required for the in-person program.

Click here for a brief synopsis of each presentation and links to the Zoom livestream.

On Dec. 30, 1822, the N.C. General Assembly passed a law titled An Act to Prevent the Destruction of Oysters, and for Other Purposes, in the State that 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.

The Maritime Museum has also scheduled the following presentations pertaining to the history of fisheries.

Thursday Feb. 23 11 a.m. North Carolina’s Antebellum Shad & Herring Fisheries
Thursday March 23 11 a.m. The Oyster Patrol: Early Enforcement of North Carolina’s Oyster Laws
Thursday Oct. 26 11 a.m. North Carolina’s Crab Fishery

Click here for more information about these programs.

Bennett, who also oversees the Maritime Museum’s Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, holds a B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. 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.