The blessing of the fleet ceremony is an annual event honoring commercial fishermen and the seafood industry, along with recognizing the importance of the fleet and it’s contributions to the economy and families of Carteret County NC.
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This annual ceremony takes place each October during the NC Seafood Festival in downtown Morehead City and involves local faith based organizations, businesses, the fishing community and their families, and municipal leaders who reflect on the hard work and dedication it takes to harvest the local catch on local inshore and offshore waters.
The blessing of the fleet ceremony also gives tribute to the many local fishermen who have been hurt or lost their lives working in this industry.
In short, many in the community make their living on the waters of Eastern NC which involves very dangerous conditions, sometimes ever changing regulations, and bad weather. Working in this industry involves days and weeks out on the open waters away from family members and other loved one’s.
The work is very hard and involves long hours, but those that work the many boats in the local area will tell you that it is in their blood and very much marks the spirit of our local coastal heritage and culture that makes Carteret County NC so unique.
If you are ever visiting Morehead City or Carteret County during the month of October, then we encourage you to attend the NC Seafood Festival and this ceremony to learn more about our community heritage and culture.
Each time you eat NC seafood, we ask that you remember those that spent many weeks out on open seas to catch their harvest and feed so many people in the area.
When you think about the local economy and where it is headed in the future, it will be important to remember that the fleet of commercial fishing families will be a part of this community no matter what happens. These families are literally the backbone of the southern Outer Banks and waterways along the many barrier islands that make up Eastern NC.
Lastly, whether you are a local or visiting the area, we ask that you take some time out of your visit and go to the down east communities of Harkers Island, Bettie, Otway, Cedar Island, Marshallberg, Atlantic, Smyrna, and Stacey to get a sense of what this community is all about.
We ask you to learn more about the people of this area of the county and what these families endure yearly to bring home their harvest, and to make your visit here memorable.
We ask that you learn more about the dialect spoken in those parts of the county, the unique tools and techniques used by local fishermen to catch shellfish, shrimp, and other harvest.
This is the spirit of this county, and it is the spirit of the fishing fleet.
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