Sifting oysters by size. Oyster mariculture is a rapidly growing activity in North Carolina, but with its growth come new social and ecological interactions in coastal waters. Here small oysters are sifted so they can be separated into differently-sized mesh bags for grow-out on a local shellfish farm. (Photo: L. Fairbanks)

Sifting oysters by size. Oyster mariculture is a rapidly growing activity in North Carolina, but with its growth come new social and ecological interactions in coastal waters. Here small oysters are sifted so they can be separated into differently-sized mesh bags for grow-out on a local shellfish farm. (Photo: L. Fairbanks)

 Preparing different statements about seafood production for Q method. Q method asks participants to sort a variety of statements according to how much they agree or think similarly to the text. Here the project team is running through piles of candidate statements to settle on a final sample. (Photo: L. Fairbanks)

Preparing different statements about seafood production for Q method. Q method asks participants to sort a variety of statements according to how much they agree or think similarly to the text. Here the project team is running through piles of candidate statements to settle on a final sample. (Photo: L. Fairbanks)

 Gill-netting for flounder. Commercial fishing is longstanding part of NC coastal communities and economies; it is also often a small-scale endeavor. Here a commercial fisherman removes a flounder from his gill net. (Photo: L. Fairbanks)

Gill-netting for flounder. Commercial fishing is longstanding part of NC coastal communities and economies; it is also often a small-scale endeavor. Here a commercial fisherman removes a flounder from his gill net. (Photo: L. Fairbanks)

Related Work

In conjunction with the Seafood Values project, we are also undertaking a project that explores the role of subsistence fishing in supporting livelihoods, economies, social ties, and culture in Carteret County. To learn more, visit our project website! (exit to duke.edu)

Seafood, Change, and Community Wellbeing in North Carolina

What values do people associate with different forms of seafood production and consumption in North Carolina?

Fishing as a productive activity has long been integral to the identities, livelihoods, and economies of many coastal North Carolina communities. The nature of seafood production is changing, however, as commercial fisheries evolve and new approaches like shellfish aquaculture grow.

The goal of this project is to understand the broad range of values and attitudes associated with shifting modes of seafood production, consumption, and their links to community wellbeing. We explore these factors through a mixed methods approach that includes interviews, document analysis, Q methodology (a value sorting exercise), and a broad survey.

Our project began in Down East Carteret County, NC, and we are expanding our work toward the Outer Banks, Wilmington, and places inland to better understand the preferences and values that producers and consumers have about North Carolina’s quality seafood and the communities that rely on it.

We’d like to hear from you!

For more information or to get involved, contact Luke Fairbanks (luke.fairbanks@duke.edu) or Grant Murray (grant.murray@duke.edu) at the Duke University Marine Lab.

We want to understand:

  • What changes are fishermen and others seeing in their industries and communities?

  • How is aquaculture expanding and what does it mean for communities?

  • Do people value farmed and wild seafood differently?

We want to work with:

  • Fishermen and Shellfish Farmers

  • Seafood Buyers and Consumers

  • Community Leaders and Organizations

  • Other Stakeholders

Project team

Grant Murray, Duke Marine Lab (PI)

Lisa Campbell, Duke Marine Lab (Co-PI)

Joshua Stoll, University of Maine (Co-PI)

Linda D’Anna, UNC Coastal Studies Institute (Co-PI)

Luke Fairbanks, Duke Marine Lab (Research Scientist)

Project supported by the North Carolina Sea Grant from the National Sea Grant Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.


Project Partners

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