MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Lowcountry shrimpers are concerned that they are going to be priced out by imported shrimp. But there’s one local organization working to promote eating locally.
The South Carolina Shrimper’s Association has multiple goals such as advocating for policies that support the shrimping industry, educating the public about the industry, and promoting sustainable shrimping.
One of the biggest problems Lowcountry shrimpers are facing right now is local restaurants importing the shrimp. They say some restaurants import shrimp from other countries at extremely low prices that local shrimpers just can’t afford to beat – and it’s impacting their livelihood.
Local shrimpers say one of the draws of Charleston for tourists is the fresh seafood, which is why it’s important to protect the industry.
“It’s been happening for a long time now, but it’s gotten to where it’s getting out of hand,” said local shrimper Rocky Magwood. “For one, it’s getting to where more imported shrimp are getting put in the market, and it’s putting the local fisherman to where we can’t have anywhere to go with our shrimp, and it’s just gotten priced to where it is so low we can’t hardly fish because fuel is high and everything that we do is high.”
Magwood added, “It’s hard to compete with these other countries, their costs are way lower than ours, and it’s just gotten to be so terrible that people aren’t even buying shrimp right now. The processors and stuff aren’t even buying shrimp from us.”
The South Carolina Shrimpers Association says they are going to post a list online of restaurants that support local shrimpers, and they’re encouraging you to support those restaurants. You can find that list by clicking here.