Dare: Step aside on seafood sales

By on January 18, 2013


Mark Rawl’s struggles with Dare County for the right to sell seafood at open air markets are not surprising.

We have long been baffled as to why Dare County stands alone in the entire state, and for that matter most of the Eastern Seaboard, in placing obstacles in the way of open-air seafood markets and roadside stands.

For a long time, the county hid behind the power of Dare County’s Health Department. The Health Department constantly cited concerns over the sale of spoiled or contaminated fish from roadside markets.


The Health Department held firm when questioned by organized groups such as Coastal Harvesters and from this newspaper, which demonstrated such concerns were not borne out by evidence easily obtained from the experience of other counties and states.

Former Commissioner Mike Johnson even brought David Green, director of N.C. State University’s Seafood Laboratory, to address the Board of Commissioners. Green said that Dare County’s health concerns were easily handled by simple regulations and were not really valid.

He even offered the Seafood Laboratory’s help to Dare County to craft a workable solution.

North Carolina Sea Grant, staffed by researchers from North Carolina’s public and private colleges and funded in part by the federal government, also supports the sale of seafood at open-air markets.

Virginia, through Virginia Polytechnic Institute, goes as far as to encourage commercial fishermen to sell their product at open-air markets and offers training and HACCP (a set of FDA rules designed to keep seafood at safe temperatures from the time it is caught to the time it is sold) certification.

Still, Dare County chose to continue its ban.

In early 2012, the county’s Health Department finally relaxed some of its prohibitions, approving many species for sale.

But because of fears of histamine toxicity, a form of food poisoning associated with some species, Dare County excluded the sale of fish among the most popular and profitable, including Spanish mackerel, bluefish, mahi-mahi and wahoo.

In our phone discussions with David Green and Virginia Tech, those concerns were largely dismissed. The key to avoiding histamine toxicity is keeping fish at 41 degrees or lower from the time they are caught to the time they are sold.

Commercial fishermen must ice these fish when caught. When they sell them to retailers or wholesalers, they are inspected for temperature. Once purchased, every seller or reseller along the chain must maintain the 41-degree maximum temperature.

As Green pointed out, most recreational fishermen do not follow such strict guidelines. Indeed, if you’ve ever been on a charter and brought home a large catch of wahoo or mahi, you are aware the fish are not iced to such standards. After docking, many of us have the fish processed at places like Oregon Inlet and we then put them on ice and take them home in coolers.

To my knowledge, no recreational fisherman has died or taken ill from a charter-boat catch.

Yet, Dare’s Health Department persists in erecting obstacles. In the case of Mark Rawl, the county has added yet another one — unclear and unwritten zoning regulations that allow the Board of Commissioners to set virtually any rules (or roadblocks) to the temporary sale of seafood they wish.

What was most surprising at the Dec. 3 commissioners meeting was the opposition of Republican Commissioner Jack Shea to even holding a public hearing.

Shea possesses a scientific background in pharmaceuticals and is familiar with histamine issues. But as a scientist, he should also be open to the opinions of scientists and researchers at N.C. State, Sea Grant and Virginia Tech.

And as Republicans, Shea, Richard Johnson and Bob Woodard should be leading the charge to repeal regulations and obstacles to small business growth as those positions are almost a mantra of their political party. Much to his credit, Woodard stopped the steamroller by calling for Tuesday’s public hearing.

The recusal in the vote by commissioners Max Dutton, who works for Harris-Teeter, and Allen Burrus, who owns a small grocery store, was more telling, as was the opposition of retail stores claiming such a low-cost operation represents unfair competition.

Operations such as the one proposed by Rawl, even if several were to be permitted, are not likely to rob significant sales from stores.

Following that logic, the Voice should be opposed to advertising on rolling trucks, which has been banned for now in Nags Head, or banners trailing off airplanes since such advertising represents a small investment of time and money compared to what it takes to produce this news site every day.

While the issue of “unfair competition” never surfaced at the Board of Health meetings, it was always a concern of this writer that such pressure was being exerted from retail owners through back channels.

The Rawl application brought this opposition out into the open as several retail and wholesale establishments submitted letters of opposition, and two commissioners tied to the retail business recused themselves from voting on a public hearing.

Small business should recognize that not only is competition good for all concerned, getting in bed with government to shut down competition is a dangerous game to be playing.

Small business constantly complains about the cost of complying with regulations. Yet when their self-interests are in play, they often seek government regulation to “protect” them.

The cat is now out of the bag, and it is apparent Dare’s opposition to the sale of seafood is not based on science or public health concerns.

Follow the money and you will find your answer.

And shame on any Republican who enables this anti-business, anti-competitive atmosphere to continue.

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Larry D

January 27, 2013 2:03 pm

All the seafood retailers in dare are lining up behind the scenes to kill this anyway they can. Sinple economics is the reason. They know that every comm fisherman on the outerbanks would be selling thier catches for a lower cost right off the dock without having to pay the fish company anything.

Local Commercial Fisherman

January 25, 2013 2:18 pm

I can understand not allowing tuna,mahi mahi,makeral,cobia,bluefish,swordfish,they need special attention at all times until sold to consumers and most open air markets aren’t going to take core temps every hr and record them LIKE A FISH HOUSE DOES,but not allowing shrimp,crabs,soft crabs,red drum,speckle trout,flounders,spots and croakers is just stupid and unfair to our citizens and SEAFOOD CONSUMERS from out of State!!!!Every dang Seafood market on the beach has to use IMPORTS to keep their shelfves stocked with product,How many fresh local tuna you ever seen steaked up that was cherry red,the grouper fillets are imported,80% of the shrimp in local markets are either imported from out of state or worse than that the country,the truth is 80% of resturants don’t want to pay the price of local caught seafood,they’d rather go imported and save on food bill than to serve what our waters have to offer.Theres about a dozen or so resturants and a few fish markets that don’t have imported on there shelfves or menu!None of the retail fish markets or resturants in Wanchese sell or serve imports and thats a good thing can’t say that about any SEAFOOD retail market in Duck,SS,KH,KDH,NH!!!!So why would a seafood retail owner on the beach be complaining about compettion with open air market when they don’t provide 100% fresh local seafood to begin with???? With open air markets our visitors and locals can get there hands on some of the freshest local caught seafood this state has to offer at the time,and not worry about being sold imported toxic junk that gets served and sold as local seafood!!!!!

Salvo duck hunter

January 24, 2013 7:53 am

It is really pretty simple the commissioners could promote local seafood and commericial fishermen and get this (local seafood in farmers market) done safely. Local retail markets could directly compete against each other and get free publicity. It is done just about everywhere else and it could and should be done in Dare County.

Sunnyside of the street

January 23, 2013 7:24 pm

And, I’d call passing off imported, farm-raised seafood as local seafood – something that currenty happens in some of our county’s brick and mortar retail markets and restaurants sneak thieving and consumer fraud. Brick and mortar alone doesn’t mean a business is better, safer, friendlier, more honest.

Fishing fool

January 23, 2013 3:48 pm

Common sense this didn’t screw small business, them voting it down helped small business, the mom and pop seafood markets, I hardly count a guy with a cooler and a half assed business plan a small business, I’d call it sneak theifing.


January 23, 2013 1:02 pm

I think we should be thanking those commissioners for excusing themselves from the matter due to a conflict of interest.I appreciate their integrity in excusing themselves. For those wo are being critical about it, can you show an instance where they did not excuse themselves from voting on a retail issue.


January 23, 2013 12:18 pm

To Tim Daniels, the County is not trying to protect beauty here. Zoning requests, approvals, and disapprovals happen here all the time without regard to beauty.

Along those lines, who voted ‘yea’ and who voted ‘nay’ during last night’s hearing for an impoundment yard to be situated on a residential property here in Buxton?


January 23, 2013 12:16 pm

I heard the commisioners voted no after Burrus and Dutton excused themselves. A friend that was in attendance at last night’s meeting stated it was obvious the remaining board members had no intentions of even considering to allow the outdoor fish market.

Common Sense

January 23, 2013 11:52 am

Follow the money. As usual, money talks… and the small business man gets screwed. Obviously, ‘lobbyists’ for retail stores and restaurants DO NOT WANT ANY COMPETITION. Hence, they grease local politicians to impose stricter restrictions on the small business man. It is very disheartening that this happens at this level of government. I mean, I angers me to no end that the current pres. is against using our own oil reserves to increase US fuel independence, but our own county screwing locals so the corp. businesses have monopolies…this just makes me want puke!


January 23, 2013 10:54 am

so what, if anything happened at the meeting last night?


January 23, 2013 9:48 am

How did it turn out last night?

More background info and written public comments can be read here:


tim daniels

January 23, 2013 9:18 am

You are doing Mr.Rawl such a disservice I beg you to stop trying to help him. I am sure Mr Rawl plans on a 1st rate Biz. I am sure he wants proper signage that reflects well on him. You are living in the past sir. I am not saying this is bad, just not for everyone. Claiming miss spelled words were the norm on Outer Banks signs is an insult. You forget all the beautiful motels shops and restaurants of the era. the Beacon, the old Wilbur wright Inn,Hatteras Drive Inn, Vivianna , Daniels Cafe ,Sadler Cottages, Spensers, Gazebo Bikini Shop, Cavalier Motor court, etc etc.
You make us sound like ignorant hay seeds with nothing more than a paint pail a piece of driftwood and a fishing pole. Please dont refer to your vacations as a referance of our past. We have always had class here.
Mr Rawl, it does not matter where you are from. This is not about you. It is about zoning. We need to project a reasonable appearance to the visitors. Your project may be beautiful but others { the ones Mr Lay hopes for} may not have your taste. It takes several days or weeks to correct zoning violations. During this time the offending biz hurts others. For some a couch on the front porch and a fridge in the yard is beauty. This is not what the average person likes to see. It is a sign of a impoverished area. So zoning laws protect property values by restricting this. Hopefully the county will catch up with these changing health codes and come up with plan to allow projects like yours and prevent eye sores.
As a brick and mortar restaurant owner I am bias against transient road side merchants. Most ,but certainly not all, in my humble opinion look poorly concieved. Not agaist competition just hate the look.


January 22, 2013 5:08 pm

2000 lbs of croaker on a sunny august morning,north of wash woods.
takes about 2 hrs to pick the net in the sun,then box them.
then call colington and pungo to see if the fish are headed north through the refuge or south through the beach traffic,
either way it was another two hours in uniced boxes.
then they are rinsed in soundwater from the canal, then weighed and finally iced.
on a good day you may get as much as .30/lb.
same fish at the store,or in an open market in DC, is almost 4.00/lb.
and yes the same baseball game is played today.
if you dont sell to the various fish houses at their price,or lack of, they get mad mad.


January 22, 2013 3:46 pm

There was a guys selling hot dogs out of a cart attached to his truck in a parking lot off the bypass in Nags Head yesterday. Wonder if he has permission to do so? Anyone know?


January 22, 2013 2:37 pm

They can. In my opinion fish markets and fish houses could do this easier than me. Im sure thats how some of them do it in the other counties.

Paul G

January 22, 2013 1:10 pm

So if “unfair” competition is feared by retail establishments, why couldn’t they simply open “satellite” open-air fish stands to meet the challenge?


January 22, 2013 11:35 am

Born and raised south of the Mason-Dixon. Father’s side from Lexington, SC. I will be inspected by the same state and county health inspecters as the fish markets and restaurants down here.

Nags head bob

January 22, 2013 7:34 am

Ha! If you weren’t a yankee I’d probably back you mark. If you have to follow the same regs as the guy who sells hotdogs out of his car I guess you’re good. When I was a kid I heard a dealer in colington cussing about my dad not selling to him, but selling to the public. Lots of inside baseball going on here the public doesn’t understand. Good luck.


January 21, 2013 3:23 pm

I plan to be at the dare county admin building in Manteo early tomorrow (4:30pm) if anyone wants to directly ask any questions, have concerns or make a comment. Mark Rawl (Rawl Seafood)

Russell Lay

January 21, 2013 1:36 pm

Butch, the point Green made to me and I endorse is that Mr. Rawl will have to follow the same stringent guidelines that apply to the handling of fish as established by county Health Department regulations and in his case, HACCP certification that other stores follow.

Charter captains and recreational fishermen do not.If they follow them, they are voluntary. But Rawl had to have his vehicle inspected, he is prohibited from doing many of the things a brick and mortar store can do, he plans to be open when many of the same stores are closed, and to fear such competition is absurd. The other point is that this type of “competition” exists all over the state and the eastern seaboard, and not just with seafood and farmers markets. Hot dog stands, pretzel wagons and much more exist on the same sidewalks in big cities as fast food eateries. And Butch, transplant or not, I’ve been coming here since the 60′s and this area was rife with homemade signs, off site signs, A-frame sandwich boards and the like-long before zoning came along. And funny thing, that seems to the be “old” Outer Banks many people miss.


January 21, 2013 12:10 pm

thank goodness for the internet and news outlets that do not have to kow tow to the good ole boy network. they add some much needed clorox to the local news pool. i thought that the health department was hiding behind junk science in exempting some of the most desirable/profitable species because of the so called histamine issue. reminds me of the wizard….’pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…’. truth is a good thing.


January 21, 2013 11:08 am

I like the “crap” roadside markets and seafood markets in Currituck and so do the thousands of customers that roll through the county but stop for some fresh veggies, shrimp, and soft crabss. I think that “crap” is priced about 40% less than you’ll find it in a grocery store or a free standing seafood store. If you’ve ever watched a boat load of fish coming out of the sound from a pound-net boat, or a long-hauler in the summer,they are mostly croakers and they come to the dock already “cooked” in the August sunshine. They aren’t iced down. They aren’t cared for in the least- and they bring just about the same price today as what my grandfather and his brothers got paid in the 1950′s and 60′s. Knowing what I know about fishhouses, I’ll buy that “crap” from a roadside stand anytime. One sniff is all I need to know if it’s good or bad.

Butch Austin

January 21, 2013 10:10 am

Russ, I’m glad that you caught and took a zillion pictures of your mahi. I am sure that they were well iced in the fish box , while you fished and returned to the dock on your charter. Everybody loves pictures of the fish that they caught on a charter, but the longer that you take pictures the hotter the fish get. The fish cleaners here on Hatteras are mindful of that and try to get the fish back to the cleaning stations in timely manner and will throw ice in the barrels of fish on hot days. I did not accuse the open air guy of killing anyone with their seafood, thanks for trying to put those words in my mouth. All I did was bring up the subject of uneven playing field ,between open air and established seafood markets. The sign issue is something that the county has been complaining about, in most cases, I could care less about it. Finally Russ Lay, my family on Hatteras Island goes back many generations and I will be damned if I am going to let a transplant like you suggest for the briefest moment, that I should move to Hilton Head. You might want to think about transplanting there yourself. Have a good day….. : )

Russ Lay

January 20, 2013 9:31 pm

Butch: You are splitting hairs. I am glad you hold an SCFL but the bottom line is that there is no one recording temps on the fish and once they land on the dock, the situation is the same. Last time I chartered we piled the mahi on the dock in the heat of the day, took a zillion pictures, then carried them over to the Inlet center to be cut up. They came back, unrefrigerated in plastic bags. Some of my group had coolers and put them on ice, some didn’t and just threw them in the back of the truck for the trip home. In theory, on the commercial side the fish is tested when it comes to dock, put in commercial fridges at the fish house, put in refer trucks to places all over the coast, refrigerated again (or flash frozen) and delivered to stores and restaurants.

As to your second point, thanks for agreeing with me. You are 100% correct. The customer is the final inspector–on a charter, in Food Lion AND at a farmers market, unless you are suggesting the open air salesman will kill a few customers
from being slack and not only lose his reputation but end up being prosecuted. Sigh.

As to your third point, I too am concerned about signs. Signs that aren’t big enough to tell me what movies are playing at the theater or which stores are located in a strip or shopping center. I remember the Outer Banks from the 60′s and 70′s and spray painted signs were part of the culture, complete with misspelled words. If you want manicured,suburban signs, Hilton Head is still letting folks move there last I heard.


January 20, 2013 6:19 pm

I hope that Dare catches up with the times and allows controlled, “side of the road” sales. Y’all opposing this should lighten up. Many years ago, the vegetable man came by every Saturday, and, we could, and did, buy his fresh wares. No one died. Competition is the life blood of capitalism.


January 20, 2013 3:52 pm

How about food trucks? It sure would be nice if Dare county allowed them. Dare prohibits them b/c the restaurant lobby is too powerful. “It would create unfair competition,” they say. Same ptotectionism, different flavor.


January 20, 2013 2:22 pm

I have worked in and around commercial fishing all my life.
I track my paternal family to about 1756 census that they lived in the “northern banks”. guess I may be a local.
however, the price the crabber gets hasnt changed much in about 30 years.
about the same with spot,croaker,trout and rockfish.
difference between a 30 dollar bushel of jimmies and a 95 dollar bushel is about 15 feet.

its also why I buy boat direct.

difference between 1.25 a pound rock and a 7 dollar a pound rock is roughly the same.
I know retailers have fixed incomes and overheads but the ripoff is unreal sometimes.
as long as the roadside stands have inspections and health regulations I dont see the issue.
ya really wanna see uniced fish? watch any beach seine operation or even the uniced fish coming into wanchese dumbed in the bottom of the boat in the sun.
then tell me how fresh it really is.
and yes many occasions I have gotten rotten seafood at local resturaunts, some I wont go into anymore.


January 20, 2013 1:51 pm

Nags head bob – please visit the dare county board of health website. Once there, open the seafood sales regulation on the home page. If the amendment is passed i do not open shop untill i pass all county and state health inspections and obtain all required permits.all processing is accomplished at a local restaurant inspected by the same inspecters as the seafood markets. No prosessing or cooking at the point of sale. All sales conducted in farmers market or open parking lot at least 100ft from the road. No truck. Using canopy and tables. All fish will be bought by local fishermen or fishhouse. Never frozen. I’m HACCP trained. The county uses the conditional use process to specificily control each individual applying for temporary seafood sales. Hope you can male it to the public hearing Tuesday.

Butch Austin

January 20, 2013 11:12 am

Russ Lay Charter Boats do have inspectors,it’s the same people that pay the charter.Do You Think They Will Charter The Same Boat Again If It Does’nt Have Enough Ice?

Butch Austin

January 20, 2013 11:07 am

Russ, your article is a load of misguided crap at best. Your go to boy (David Green) for your research on this article is full of it. First and I have been a Charter Boat mate,no Charter Boat that wants to be in business for long leaves the dock not properly iced up. The same holds true for Commercial Fishing Vessels,by the way I hold a SCFL. The next part and you laid your head on the chopping block for this is the Advertising/Signage issue.Dare County has been raising holy hell over signs on Hatteras Island the majority are tastefuly done by their design. Now comes in a fleet of half broke down jallopies, because you know momma is’nt going to let them peddle fish out of her car. The jallopies will very likely have ” Shremp Four Sail ” spray painted on a sheet of plywood proped against their mode of transportation. How does this help with not making the sides of the road a major eye sore. The playing field is’nt even across the board, Seafood Stores have rent and utilities to pay for. Open Air Markets just have to find a place to park and set up shop. This is not good for Dare County and I that it gets shot down.


January 20, 2013 10:15 am

“Behind the scenes” or “deeper pockets at play” theories are default criticisms when the public perceives the government as too meddlesome.

Seafood can be sold in Dare County at Farmer’s markets and free stands AS LONG AS VENDORS COMPLY WITH THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS.

Why shouldn’t a street vendor be held to the same healthful regulations as a “brick & mortar” operation?

Nags head bob

January 20, 2013 8:15 am

Need to add. I’m no longer a commercial fisherman. But back when you could buy right off the boat was when you got the freshest seafood. Some of our local dealers helped put an end to that. I’ve never gotten sick from fish right off the boat. I have however had bad scallops at two local restaurants . . . Nothing is imposible. My point is that you have to have a baseline standard. Russ and others appear to be in favor of lowering it.

Nags head bob

January 20, 2013 8:02 am

Questions to ponder. Is the fish going to be sold with any preparation in any way, or just packed in ice guts and all. If so, where is it going to be done, where did the guy use the bathroom, where did he wash his hands, where did he wash his knives, where did he wash his pans. Did he use hot water? Rhetorical questions now. Maybe there are reasons for them being asked ahead of opening a business.

Obx painter

January 20, 2013 7:24 am

It is sad that it is easier to put up a Wings on the obx than a fish stand.


January 19, 2013 9:44 pm

In response to ekim’s comment about the ban of homemade snacks in schools: Homemade snacks are banned to keep the threat of allergic reactions down (ie: peanuts). Apparently, the issue with food allergies is so pervasive in our population, county health departments have enacted ordinances to help prevent unnecessary allergic events in public schools (think: Mary’s mother sends peanut brittle to homeroom for all to enjoy…)


January 19, 2013 9:31 pm

The issue of “unfair competition” is not an issue the Board of Health is concerned with. Public health is the main concern.


January 19, 2013 6:25 pm

It seems a little unfair to stop someone from selling seafood especially if they keep it cold and sanitary. There’s a farmer’s market in Manteo that has almost everything except produce. I’ve been there on Saturday’s and if you’re lucky, maybe one person will have produce. Most of the stuff is handmade arts and crafts. Doesn’t that hurt the downtown businesses? Why is it allright to protect some businesses and not others?

Jimmy Woodson

January 19, 2013 3:27 pm

Love to hear all of the opinions. If these markets do come about, the market(buyers) will choose winners and losers..not government (eg the Wall St / GM bailout and allegedly our local officials). The vendors with poor quality ( and aesthetcs: Retail’s concern) will not thrive. JCW


January 19, 2013 3:01 pm

Great editorial, Russ!
At this point, there is absolutely no reason not to allow well regulated roadside seafood sales.
Also, the comments by obxwahoo, millenial, sue and wanchese guy were excellent.

Now, Dare County (Republican) Commissioners……get out of the way!


January 19, 2013 2:16 pm

Do they recuse themselves from all retail decisions? Harris Teeter doesn’t just sell fish.

Stewie Stewington

January 19, 2013 2:13 pm

And shame on any Republican who enables this anti-business, anti-competitive atmosphere to continue.

Since when have Republicans been unflagging supporters of a truly freely competitive marketplace?

Pretty much all politicians, regardless of party, respond to pressures from entrenched business interests seeking to gain “protection” from a real free market.

One of the biggest lies we are constantly fed is that we even have a “free market system” to begin with.

That being said, the only way to deal with this sort of problem is to create public interest and develop a growing movement of those interested in changing the status quo. Articles such as this are a necessary step in that campaign so…respect!


January 19, 2013 11:56 am

The same health dep, wont allow PARENTS to bring HOMEMADE snacks to the school! (WHERE ARE THE COMMISSIONERS LOOKING OUT FOR THE SMALL BIZ MAN)


January 19, 2013 8:58 am

Nice job with the article. Please keep up the good work informing us on the crooked snakes of Dare County. My tax money going to waste!!

Rob Morris

January 19, 2013 1:51 am

Charlie — I added some links to previous stories.


January 19, 2013 12:04 am

I keep reading “the health department” this and “the health department”that. Just exactly which official or officials of the health department are we talking about? Interviewing these individuals on the record for their “side” of the story could proove interesting.


January 18, 2013 11:16 pm

Great article Russ, and way to put it in the so-called Republican’s faces! How can a company force itself on us with endless Wings outlets but these stands aren’t allowed?

Russ Lay

January 18, 2013 10:40 pm

Ekim-most of the charters I take do pack ice. But unlike a commercial fishermen, there are no inspectors, and when the fish is landed, no one takes the internal temperature. I didn’t even bring up recreational guys who may or may not pack ice for their own catches!

Retail-if Mr. Rawl makes a profit, he will pay taxes. If he is using land owned by someone else, if that landowner charges him rent, the rent will cover the property tax just as it does in any landlord-tenant relationship.

Wanchese guy

January 18, 2013 9:37 pm

Uh oh I think Retail is a little butt hurt. Afraid of competition you are? I see no issues with this man’s plan to sell local fish as long as he meets health codes. If the big retail giants are afraid maybe they should stop ripping us off on their price. Gouging the tourists also gouges the locals.


January 18, 2013 8:46 pm

The countryside in Delaware is dotted with local crab and fish dealers and numerous produce stands. It makes the area seem quaint and natural, not touristy nor commercial at all. To me, the worst looking part of the Outer Banks are the Wings stores and every other hole in the wall selling cheap, Chinese crap. A fish market would be an improvement. The “health concerns” are a smokescreen.


January 18, 2013 6:21 pm

When I go fishing I always carry a PLASTIC bag of ice every charter trip I have taken they load up on ICE, THE HEALTH DEP is another bloated GOV DEPT, justifing its EXISTENCE!!!!


January 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Mr. Rawl needs to rent a retail location and pay taxes like the rest of us period. If he wants to set up a farmers market go to currituck and clutter it up some more with the rest of the CRAP. Don’t y’all understand how bad it makes a place look when there are people with stand’s set up on the side of the road with junk for sale? Go back to the city if that’s the way you want it to look….

Sandy Semans

January 18, 2013 5:51 pm

JoAnne, anyone with a dealer’s license can purchase directly from the fishermen. And anyone with a dealer’s license has to fill out trip tickets and send them to the Division of Marine Fisheries so that they can track the stats and where applicable, quotas. I believe that Mark said he is getting a dealer’s license.

KDH Rezident Evil

January 18, 2013 4:51 pm

They just approved letting the carnies put up a gazillion foot Ferris wheel. Now which do you think is more hazardous to your health?

Let them sell fish.


January 18, 2013 2:06 pm

Great opine! Me-thinks this sort of behavior you’re referring to is not limited to the sea food market issue however. Following the money almost always leads to a breath of fresh, open, democratic air.

It’s always nice to read something with a centrist point of view…they are fewer and further in between these days of partisanship and spin media on both sides.


January 18, 2013 1:59 pm

Well said, and well done.

Small town politics NEED investigative journalism like this to keep everyone honest. Too easy for the old boy (and girl) network to tilt the tables in favor of themselves.

Standing and clapping.


January 18, 2013 1:56 pm

Check with Marine Fisheries, I believe that each fish caught by a fisherman has to be reported. If he is buying fish direct from a fisherman they are not being reported. It is the fish houses responsibablty to file weekly reports as to what fish are brought in.

Salvo duck hunter

January 18, 2013 1:25 pm

Thanks for the article, I hope it helps to change the status quo.
It is just ridiculous that seafood can’t be sold at the farmers market. Seafood is food not just someone’s play toy.

Rob Morris

January 18, 2013 1:05 pm

Nickrite: It’s an editorial. This is The Outer Banks Voice’s opinion on the issue. We welcome differing points of view.

Kathleen Brehony

January 18, 2013 12:50 pm

Excellent and well-reserched article, Russ. I am complete agreement with your conclusions.


January 18, 2013 12:32 pm

As far as journalistic pieces go this one fails the “fair and balanced” smell test.


January 18, 2013 12:11 pm

absolutely. good take on this. i think that the fish houses also are not wanting fishermen to be able to sell their catch directly. they are too used to having all the power over what a fisherman can get for his catch. power corrupts. too bad someone with deep pockets does not look into this from a ‘restraint of free trade’ perspective.

Under the Bar

January 18, 2013 11:57 am

A larger problem with this, will be any o’l joe thinks he can make a quick buck and he’ll find cheap, imported seafood to sell instead of local seafood. That’s a bigger issue behind this.


January 18, 2013 11:39 am

Great Article. Totally agree. I love this small population, but small town politics suck when not kept in check. Thanks to this website for ringing the bell and alarming more citizens to get involved.

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