MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – With just weeks until shrimp season gets underway, some Shem Creek Shrimpers say they’ve never seen gas prices as high as they are right now. They say the extra cost could push some boats out of the industry or force others to quit shrimping altogether.

Shrimpers say with gas prices at nearly $4.50 for boat fuel and boats using hundreds of gallons of gas each day, some boats are sitting idle.

With some sitting idle, others could be forced to limit the amount of trips for shrimp they take this season in order to cut fuel costs and manage profits.

Tarvin’s Seafood owner Cindy Tarvin says the higher operating costs will likely lead to higher shrimp and seafood costs through the season in order for shrimpers to offset the expense.

Rocky Magwood, a Shem Creek Shrimper, was hopeful his crew would be able to save and make money this season, now he’s just hoping to make it through without unforeseen expenses and issues.

“You know we don’t know exactly what it is but I know it’s over $4.50 probably right now and we don’t start until the end of April and it’s going to be hard to go out and start checking for shrimp,” says Magwood. “We’re going to have to hope that the shrimp are out there and go whenever they are there and come back in, go and come with the tides and try not to burn too much fuel. It’s going to be very scary.”

Both Tarvin and Magwood are hopeful gas prices will decrease during the season. They say continued community support will be key to keeping the industry successful this year through the season.