Fresh, delicate, delicious deepsea treats
“I really got in with a good group of men to get started,” Billy explained. “The first boat I bought was through owner financing and every time since then if I had the chance I would buy a boat. Today I only have one boat still with a mortgage.”
In 2001 Billy expanded his business and bought a spot at the Newport News Boat Harbor, later acquiring the property next to it, thus B&C Seafood was born. “For one year I did business out of my truck while this place was being put together.”
Billy’s scallop boats with 10-inch mesh nets and large rings (“so the small scallops do not get caught”) fish coastal waters from Cape Henry to Maine, packing out in the closest harbor when necessary. Working under the Fishing Management Plan, a plan that Billy helped to develop, the boats fish open waters only 31 days of the year with an unlimited total catch. Also, the boats are allowed to enter six usually closed areas, when they are opened, twice with a 12,000-pound limit. “It has proven to work. We can make more money with less time at sea than we did when we could fish 180 days a year.” Trips to sea usually last around 10 days at a time. “It’s hard work that includes shucking, not just catching, scallops.” When the captain and crew return to the dock a good trip would yield 361,719.40 pounds of shucked scallops.
B&C Seafood also is a retailer and it’s here you can buy shrimp, lobsters, fish, snow crab legs and of course scallops, “boat fresh or boat fresh chemical free.” Using the term boat fresh means the scallops have not been washed in Tripoli phosphate (STPP), a treatment given by many commercial packers of scallops to enhance their size and make them white. Scallops fresh from the shell are more of an ecru color. Have you ever had the experience of buying beautiful white scallops to find them half the size when cooked?