Regional Report Eastern August 2013
A shell of its former self
It’s not easy being a bay scallop in Bogue Sound — or anywhere else along North Carolina’s coast. In 1987 and ’88, a bloom of toxin-exuding red algae killed 20% of the adults in the sound, and subsequent hurricanes washed away vegetation and salinity the shellfish require. Their number fell so low that in 2005 the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries closed the fishery from Beaufort to the South Carolina line. It reopened Jan. 28-April 1, but restrictions kept the catch small to protect the recovering population. The 2013 take, about 1,300 pounds, is a fraction of historic hauls — Tar Heel fishermen led the nation with 1.4 million pounds in 1928. But limited supply is driving up prices. A gallon of mollusk morsels — only the adductor muscle is eaten — once went for about $10 around Bogue, Back and Core sounds. People paid as much as $60 or more this year. One thing bay scallops aren’t sensitive to, it seems, is price.
FAYETTEVILLE — The U.S. Army will eliminate 12 of its 45 active-unit combat brigades, including one of Fort Bragg’s four, resulting in 3,500 fewer soldiers in the base’s 82nd Airborne Division by 2017. But additions to the base’s remaining three brigades as part of the reorganization will add nearly the same number.
NAVASSA — Charlotte-based DAK Americas will close its chemical plant here in September, eliminating 600 jobs. Of those, 350 are full-time and 250 are contracted through Houston-based Mundy Maintenance. The company says the closure is necessary to remain cost-competitive.
SUNSET BEACH — Wealth Spring Industry acquired Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center, a 2,000-acre resort that has three golf courses, out of bankruptcy for $8.5 million. A Chinese investor identified only as Mr. Pan backs the Wilmington-based company.
GREENVILLE — C.A. Lewis acquired Greenville-based R.R. Miller Construction for an undisclosed amount. The general contractor will keep R.R. Miller’s management staff.