MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Leaders in the Town of Mount Pleasant this week discussed a resolution seeking an economic disaster declaration due to the “dumping of imported shrimp into U.S. markets.”

The resolution was discussed during a Nov. 6 meeting by the economic development committee.

During the meeting, Brian Jones, a McClellanville resident who represents the South Carolina Shrimper’s Association, shared support for the resolution and stated that Mount Pleasant would follow other coastal municipalities from Texas to South Carolina.

The declaration would essentially protect the town and shrimping industry from economic hardships caused by shrimp imported from non-local areas.

Jones told the committee that since 2015, shrimpers have seen the proliferation of shrimp farms and extra production, which he said makes matters more difficult for local shrimpers.

Recently, local shrimpers shared concerns about being priced out by such imported shrimp.

As for what the town can do, Jones explained that the declaration would raise awareness of the issue shrimpers are facing, and while it would not have any impact on imported shrimp, it would give them a foothold to be competitive.

The resolution says the influx of imported shrimp into U.S. markets has affected the ability to market and sell wild-caught domestic shrimp. It also states that the Mount Pleasant shrimping fleet – and others throughout the region – cannot sustain these troubling trends. “Many are squeezed out of the market and forced to keep their vessels docked,” the resolution said.

Jones noted that domestic-caught shrimp taste better because there are no antibiotics or chemicals being used and said residents should buy and ask for domestic wild-caught shrimp.

All committee members voted in favor of the resolution. The resolution will go to the full council for approval.

The South Carolina Shrimper’s Association advocates for policies that support the shrimping industry, educate the public about the industry and promote sustainable shrimping.