Shelling, clamming & crabbing tour in Crystal coast, North Carolina

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Shelling, clamming & crabbing tour in Crystal coast, North Carolina

Environment

Captain Jess was often involved in recommending conservation measures for fish and their habitats in his work as a marine biologist. For instance, he helped develop conservation policies for North Carolina as an Executive Assistant to the Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries. For his efforts in conservation Captain Jess was presented the North Carolina Governor's Award for Wildlife Conservationist of the Year in 1994. He also received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award in 2006, which is the highest civilian award for public service presented by North Carolina's Governor. Since his retirement, Captain Jess also became an educator at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores as well as the North Carolina Centre for the Advancement of Teachers at Ocracoke.

Captain Jess also uses his boat trips as an opportunity to continue his efforts to conserve the local environment by providing people with an increased knowledge and respect for marine life. During the shelling trip he will show guests how to tell if an animal is alive and encourages people to take remnants of animals. Bringing back live animals is strongly discouraged unless they are to be eaten. Captain Jess also encourages people to only take what they feel they would enjoy rather than bucketfuls of fish. Whilst clamming, guests are informed of the size limits and amounts that can be taken. Small clams need to be returned to the water and customers will be shown how to put them back into the water in such a way to minimise distress. During the seining and cast netting trips Captain Jess helps in the identification of fish that are more susceptible to stress and how to return them to the water safely.

The boat tours also provide an opportunity to reduce pollution in the water and that washes up on the land. On every trip, Captain Jess takes five gallon buckets with him and encourages his guests to help remove rubbish from the areas they visit. They focus on removing plastic, glass and metal in particular. The undeveloped barrier islands that we visit on most of our trips only have their rubbish removed by local volunteers.

Community

We support our community by recommending our guests use local businesses to help support the local economy. For instance, we advise our customers to visit restaurants that serve delicious local seafood. We also recommend that our customers visit the excellent maritime museum, waterfowl museum and local aquarium. We also support other local companies that provide water based activities by recommending kayaking in the State Reserve nearby.

We have a charity budget each year, but we like to support local community projects in particular. For instance, we always like to support fundraisers for local school groups. Captain Jess also gives educational talks to local groups and the Rotary.

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