MOREHEAD CITY — Two local commercial fishermen are concerned about the possible impact of having an imported seafood processing facility coming to North Carolina, but the state Department of Commerce said it’s going to be helpful, not harmful.
RC Creations LLC, a division of Acme Smoked Fish Corp. of New York, is planning to build a seafood processing facility in Pender County, near Currie. This facility will be used to process imported fresh and frozen seafood into ready-to-eat products that will be shipped domestically and internationally.
Bradley Styron of Quality Seafood in Cedar Island and Mark Hooper of Hooper Family Seafood in Smyrna said in an Oct. 20 News-Times article, “Locals criticize import plant,” they were concerned this plant is going to hurt the local commercial fishing industry. Mr. Styron said local fishermen can’t compete with imports, while Mr. Hooper said local fishermen need facilities to process the locally caught seafood.
In direct response to Mr. Styron and Mr. Hooper’s statements, Josh Ellis, N.C. Department of Commerce deputy secretary for communications and external affairs, said RC Creations’ new facility won’t compete with the local seafood industry.
“The company will be processing seafood product that are currently being processed at other locations around the world,” he said. “The only change is that the processing will now be done in North Carolina. These products, such as salmon, aren’t found off the North Carolina coast. RC Creations’ decision to locate in Pender County strengthens our state’s food processing industry.”