UNC-TV Visits Endurance Seafood

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Keith Bruno loves his job fishing, crabbing and collecting oysters with his two teenage sons, but health problems and the uncertain waters of regulations leave this family thankful for the provisions of each day.

Compared to some big name fish companies, Keith Bruno and family’s Endurance Seafood in Oriental, North Carolina is a bit of a smaller operation.

“We bring back tens or hundreds of pounds at the most. Those big draggers bring back tens of thousands of pounds at times; you know, big business, big operation, big money,” said Bruno.

Coming from a long line of watermen, Bruno, and his family, know the fishing industry. But with competition and changing state laws that regulate the number of fish that can be captured, the future for Endurance Seafood is uncertain.

“I don’t know if there’ll be an industry left for [my boys] to flourish in,” Bruno said. “Right now, I used to think that I would get rich fishing, now I just hope to make a living and continue the lifestyle that I’ve become accustomed to.”

Optimism, Bruno said, is an important outlook for any fisherman to have. That hopefulness the family has for the future of their business, is helpful on an even more personal level.

After Christmas in 2015, Bruno was diagnosed with heart failure. Bruno continues his fisherman lifestyle, but his son Zachary, 18, has taken on some of heavier workload.

“Although he didn’t come out and say, ‘I’m staying,’ Zachary has taken it upon himself to kind of become the heavy lifter around here. He does all the heavy work. I know he’s here, he’s still here to help me. And although I appreciate it, I know I can’t hold him forever,” Bruno said.

With uncertain waters ahead, Keith Bruno is thankful and lives in the present.

“Hope looking forward,” Bruno said. “You know, you mourn what you’ve lost but you’ve got to look forward and … being a fisherman you’ve got to be optimistic or you just, you’d quit. You’d quit in a heartbeat.”

Bruno is perhaps most thankful for the time he’s spent with his kids.

“I’ve spent a lifetime, with both them boys already, and boy, you couldn’t buy that. With all the money in the world you couldn’t buy that.”

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