The Carolina Watermen: Bug Hunters and Boatbuilders


The Carolina Watermen: Bug Hunters and Boatbuilders


Around Holden Beach, North Carolina, shrimp are known as "bugs," and the men who catch them for a living are "bug hunters." With the domestication of most other animals used for food, the Holden Beach shrimpers are among the last true hunters, dragging the ocean for creatures the size of a human thumb.

During their many visits to Holden Beach, Richard and Barbara Kelly grew fascinated with the distant sight of the shrimp boats and their simple dance upon the sea. Finally, they got a chance to meet the shrimpers. They were invited aboard the boats and regaled with tales of life on the water. They met the workers at the local fish houses, along with the Holden Beach boatbuilders, who fashioned hundreds of craft without ever using a blueprint.

But they also learned that the Carolina waterman is an endangered species. The shrimpers are being squeezed by government regulations, environmental pressures, and foreign competition. The boatbuilders have all retired.

The Kellys did not want to let the way of life of the Carolina watermen go unchronicled. This is their tribute to a hard-working people they have come to admire.

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  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: John F. Blair Publisher; 1st edition (July 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895871041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895871046