“Most of the world is covered by water. A fisherman’s job is simple: pick out the best parts.”
-Charles W. Waterman
Mark Hooper, the founder, resides in Smyrna, North Carolina in Carteret County, where he has fished commercially since 1974 on core sound. With his wife, Penny Hooper, they leased 1.6 acres of land in front of their home and decided to start a local farm known as “Hooper Family Seafood.” With that, he farmed hard clams and fished out hard and soft-shell crabs. Which he now serves in the Carteret County community of Smyrna, North Carolina.
Mark is also a member of a variety of committee stakeholders’ groups. Which is involved in a fishery management group.
Smyrna, North Carolina is located close to the core banks, with the nearest city being that of Marshallberg. The area is known for its saltwater, which is a common area for clams and crabs to be fished and farmed there. The Hooper family also buys seeds to grow and harvest clams during the summer season.
Hooper Family seafood is a farming operation that produces shellfish, common to saltwater. The following are:
• Soft Blue Crabs
• Farm-raised clams
• Blue Crabs
In this list, many of the products are available in a variety of forms which range from fresh, frozen, salted/smoked, and canned, to name a few. With many other products being available, you can check their Facebook page to see more. Or even go to the NCAGR website and search for ‘Hooper Family Seafood’ for more available products.
For all the history buffs out there. If you’re willing to learn more about the county of Carteret and just not about its fishing traditions. I recommend the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum where they talk about an old tradition called Decoy that was taken for granted. It’s located on Harker’s Island, which is off the coast of Marshallberg, and in return is close to Smyrna.
Now, if you want to take a nice drive to look for other adventures, you can take route 70 to the town of Beaufort. You’ll find the North Carolina Museum there. It is known for covering the coastal history of the state.
If you do find yourself at Beaufort. You can also visit Friends of The North Carolina Maritime Museum. This place was organized in 1979 with a few public and private partners. To deliver the state’s rich maritime heritage. So, if you’re looking for more historical information about maritime traditions, you can start here.
With 1.6 acres of land to use, the Hooper family fish and farm a variety of seafood to provide for their local community. That variety would be:
“Seafood makes you live 10 years more.”
Hard Clams are local in high salt waters and are found throughout the area. Yet, to make things more convenient for him, Mark also buys and plants seeds to help him grow and harvest clams during the summer months.
The seeds are then planted in a nursery system of fiberglass trays that are 3.5 by 10 feet and can be configured to get a flow of water from one end to the other. Then they’ll dam up one end of the nursery, and then they turn them into raceways holding about 10,000 seeds per tank.
Clams and crabs have a variety of health benefits. These include,
With those few health benefits alone, you have a few reasons to try out some of their seafood and not have anyone tell you otherwise. If that’s not enough to convince you to try these out. They also have the benefit that they’re low in calories for those that are sticking to a low-calorie diet.
North Carolina’s fishing is a big part of their traditions for both recreational and commercial use. So, much so that the North Carolina Oyster Trail was created to partner with many seafood restaurants, farms, and markets.
Hooper Family Seafood is one of the farmers that is partnered with them and are listed as doing farm tours during the summer. By going to the website, it will also direct you to their Facebook page. Where you can message them to book a tour and ask any questions you may have. Ranging from services they provide, even asking more about their business.
So, if you’re looking for a way to reach out to them, The NC Oyster Trail is a recommended website to use. As well as their Facebook if you wish to book a tour or learn more about them.