MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Mount Pleasant Town Council voted to support the local shrimping industry amid what is being called an imported shrimp crisis.
“Mount Pleasant is such a large town, and they have such a deep legacy and interest in shrimping,” said Bryan Jones, the Vice President of the South Carolina Shrimpers Association.
On Tuesday night, Mount Pleasant became the second municipality in South Carolina to pass a resolution to encourage Governor Henry McMaster to declare an economic disaster due to the dumping of imported shrimp into U.S. markets.
Jones explained the local wild-caught shrimp is up against shrimp from foreign countries that are usually grown in ponds and sold at much lower prices.
“We get squeezed from our increase in cost of production as well as, you know, the cheap price of shrimp. So, shrimp dumping occurs when, you know, more shrimp is introduced into the market than the U.S. consumer consumes and then it prices us out of competition,” Jones told News 2.
From Texas to North Carolina, the South Carolina Shrimpers Association has been joining fellow shrimpers to urge municipalities to pass these resolutions. Jones said the hope is to raise awareness and get relief from the federal government.
“So, they have fishery disaster declarations and what that does is it will provide things like low-interest loans or grants to help fisherman, shrimpers out during these times when we’re combatting the imported shrimp crisis,” said Jones.
Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie also weighed in on what the declaration could mean.
“If we get this economic declaration, you know federally, because trade policies are basically all federal, it will stop that dumping from foreign markets and it will let the world know that we’re going to have fair trade when it comes to seafood,” said the mayor.
Mayor Haynie encouraged community members to demand shrimp bought in restaurants and markets is local wild-caught.
To view a list of restaurants and markets that support the local shrimping industry, click here.