MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – A flounder shortage across the state has the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) implementing new rules starting July 1st, limiting the daily allotment of flounder per person.
The new regulations allow 10 fish per boat per day and 5 fish per person per day as well as regulating the size limit of the fish from 15 to 16 inches.
A recent SCDNR survey showed a shrinking population of flounder in Lowcountry waters.
“The results were a little depressing, showing that flounder has been heavily overfished,” Mel Bell, Director of Fisheries Management at SCDNR.
SCDNR says they now need a 72% reduction rate to have healthy rebuild within the next 10 years.
“The whole idea is reducing pressure on the flounder population from fishing and letting the fish recover…This helps rebuild more fish, larger fish and then we will have a more sustainable stock that you can enjoy for generations,”” Bell says.
Local restaurant owners are thankful, as the shortage has made it difficult to source flounder for dishes.
“It’s important to me and it’s important to our industry. People want to eat fresh seafood,” Jeffrey Deogburn, General Manager of Waters Edge.
“As of lately, we have been able to go back to the locally sourced fish. With more fish, that means 40 to 50 flounder on a Friday night, that’s a lot of fish,” says Deogburn.
DNR plans to conduct another regulation survey by 2023.