Ocracoke Working Watermen's Association
Ocracoke Working Watermen's Association
OWWA logo:
An old-style Ocracoke
shrimp boat coming in.
Saving More than a Fish House
Old South Point Fishouse   The Ocracoke Fish house Today!
(December 2009 Oyster Roast)
In the spring of 2006 the last fish house on the island was put up for sale. For the islands 30+ watermen, this meant no access to bulk ice and no fish house where they could unload and sell their catch. Watermen were forced to pack their truck and drive off island, a minimum four hour round trip. Calculating the cost of fuel, time spent driving plus cost of ice and everyone came up with the same bleak conclusion, working off the water on Ocracoke would come to an end.

The threat of loosing Ocracoke’s last fish house set much into motion. The fishermen needed a base of operations if jobs were going to be saved.

Set into motion alongside this effort to retain jobs was a collective awareness of:
  • the need to preserve Ocracoke’s 300 year old maritime culture

  • the role the watermen play in maintaining one of Ocracoke’s most desired assets “a quaint fishing village atmosphere”

  • the role the watermen play in educating the public

  • the interdependence between a healthy environment, community, and the local economy

Press Archives

Watermen’s Exhibit