Biologists excited for average shrimping season

South Carolina News

White shrimp are one of three commercially important shrimp species in South Carolina, along with brown shrimp and pink shrimp. (Photo: E. Weeks/SCDNR)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – In a time marked by significant changes for the human population, the crustaceous universe has remained effectively unscathed. Those longing for a bit of normalcy will be pleased to know that marine biologists are forecasting an “average” shrimping season in the Lowcountry.

Officials with the SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said “our white shrimp abundance this year should be about average or slightly better in comparison to previous similar years.”

Shrimping season in SC will be in full swing beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Typically, full harvesting is not allowed until late May, but an unusually mild winter led to early spawning, and an early opening of “provisional trawling” areas on April 15. Opening dates vary each year based on current environmental conditions.

Mel Bell, director of the DNR Office of Fisheries Management, said that the initially accelerated spawning season “was likely slowed a bit by the unusually cool water temperatures in April,” leveling out this season’s population.

Despite the ups and downs, DNR feels confident that “the apparent condition of the shrimp population in SC’s coastal waters” is suitable to meet market demands.

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