Tag Archives: South Carolina

S.C. Lawmakers set aside $3.2M for projects. Where the money’s going? Some to Port Royal’s shrimp docks

A handful of local projects will see at least $3.2 million in state tax dollars, thanks to money earmarked by Beaufort County legislators in the state budget was approved over objections from S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster. Among the projects receiving the money are Port Royal’s shrimp docks,,, In the state budget, lawmakers designated a total of $900,000 for repairs and redevelopment of a town-run shrimp dock in Port Royal, where seafood processing operations will be suspended after years of financial losses. “It’s the only publicly owned shrimp dock on the eastern coast of the United States,” said Rep. Shannon Erickson, a Beaufort Republican who sponsored the earmarked money. >click to read< 11:03

08:00 – Commercial Shrimp Season is Now Open in South Carolina!

The bright lights of shrimp trawlers have been visible against the offshore horizon each night this week, which can only mean one thing, shrimp season is about to open in full in South Carolina. Commercial shrimp trawling will open in all legal South Carolina waters at 8 a.m. on Thursday. Georgia officials have not yet set an opening date for trawling season in their state waters. “After a slightly cooler start to spring, things now look pretty normal for this time of year,” >click to read< 07: 50

Fundraiser established after shrimp boat capsizes on first day of shrimping season in South Carolina

A commercial shrimping vessel, F/V Miss Kim, has been deemed a loss after capsizing on opening day of inshore shrimping season in South Carolina. A GoFundMe has been established to support the crew. Organizers say Skipper Lockwood McCants Freeman and his two-man crew set out to begin the season when the boat capsized near Morris Island on Thursday morning. >click to read< 09:44

SC shrimp season opens with a brighter outlook – “One of the restaurants said its like July Fourth every day,”

“Over the past several years we’ve seen a lot of larger shrimp offshore that are probably coming down from up north, just because of the range expansion of (white) shrimp.” There’s hope that this season will see a comeback for the industry that sells these shrimp, in part because measures to combat coronavirus in 2020 severely restricted restaurant dining and dampened demand for local product. Last year, Cindy Tarvin of Tarvin Seafood, based on Shem Creek, told The Post and Courier that restaurant orders had dropped to between one-quarter and one-third of normal. This year, she said, sales have bounced back dramatically as diners have rushed back to restaurants. “One of the restaurants said its like July Fourth every day,” she >click to read< 16:21

Shell game: Conflict, secrecy cloud battle over SC oyster farming permit

A conflict of interest involving a floating oyster farm in a popular creek has spawned hard questions about government secrecy, insider dealing and the sanctity of public lands in South Carolina. Caged oyster farming has become a growing and potentially lucrative industry in recent years. It offers the promise of eco-friendly jobs and year-round, succulent bivalves for Charleston’s renowned dining scene. But a battle over one such operation sparked a state ethics investigation. That probe found a Department of Natural Resources permit coordinator had used his position to help his brother win approval to grow oysters along a Charleston County creek. The coordinator later quit his job and became a partner in his brother’s company, an Uncovered investigation found. >click to read< 14:11

“It’s time for our community to get back together,” Mount Pleasant Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival

A day filled with seafood snacking and shag dancing can only mean one thing – the 2021 Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival which will celebrate fishers and shrimpers in typical Mount Pleasant fashion. The daylong festival is April 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. There will be a variety of activities throughout the day with the boat parade and blessing beginning at 1 p.m. After taking a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival is “back in business.” Schedule, details,  >click to read< 10:54

Two missing after shrimp boat capsizes in Beaufort County, South Carolina

The U.S. Coast Guard and multiple other agencies are searching for two adult males who disappeared after a shrimp boat capsized Tuesday. Responders found the capsized shrimp boat in St. Helena Sound near Harbor Island where the pair had been fishing. Multiple agencies have boats, cutters and helicopters searching for the fishermen. >click to read< 07:14

Coast Guard, partner agencies searching for 2 men near St. Helena Sound – Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Charleston received notification at 3:47 p.m., Tuesday from a family member stating the two men were overdue. A Coast Guard Air Station Savannah helicopter aircrew deployed a rescue swimmer to the 27-foot capsized vessel with no signs of the two men.  >click to read<

McClellanville receives $25K grant to help preserve its working waterfront

McClellanville is one of 12 towns recently awarded the Hometown Economic Development Grant from the Municipal Association of South Carolina. The $25,000 grant will go towards an economic development plan to keep and preserve it’s working waterfront, the main economic and cultural aspect of the town.,, “It’ll help the whole town out, this is a shrimping and fishing village, so that working waterfront, probably about half of that town relies on that working waterfront,” >Video, click to read< 09:49

President Trump to to prohibit offshore drilling along Florida, Georgia and S.C. coasts

The president signed a memorandum on Tuesday instructing the interior secretary to prohibit drilling in the waters off the South Carolina coast, Georgia coast and both Florida coasts. The ban would last for a period of 10 years, from July 1, 2022, to June 20, 2032. “South Carolina is blessed with the most beautiful and pristine beaches, sea islands, and marshes in the nation. Seismic testing and offshore drilling threatens their health and jeopardizes the future of our state’s $24 billion tourism industry. Today’s announcement is good news, but we must remain vigilant in the conservation and preservation of our coastline,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. The existing moratorium covers the Gulf of Mexico, and Trump said the new one would also cover the Atlantic coast.  >click to read< 08:30

Average forecast as shrimp season opens May 27 in South Carolina

Commercial shrimp trawling will open in all legal South Carolina waters at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Georgia officials have not yet set an opening date for trawling season in their state waters. Shrimping season in South Carolina typically starts in spring with the opening of a small subset of waters, called provisional areas, that allow shrimpers to take advantage of the harvest offshore while still protecting the majority of shrimp that have yet to spawn. This year, following a mild winter, South Carolina’s provisional trawling areas opened unusually early, on April 15, 2020. >click to read< 22:38

Soft-shell crab season is ‘the start of all the good stuff’

One local delicacy seafood is quite popular in the Lowcountry this time of year. Soft-shell crabs, or female blue crabs, are being caught, sold and cooked in homes and restaurants along the state’s coast. Callinectes sapidus or “beautiful swimmers” are more commonly referred to as Atlantic blue crabs. Although they can be caught all year long, the peak molting, or shedding process, of a female crab’s exoskeleton to create the soft-shell normally occurs during the springtime in South Carolina saltwater. “The timing is dictated by the crabs, and when they molt is really dictated by water temperatures. So in our waters, molting can occur year round, but the peak of molting for these females is really in the April-May,, photo’s, >click to read< 13:52

“Tide Runners: Exploring the Life of Shrimpers & Fishermen” presented by photographer/author Tim Barnwell

This nine-year exploration took him to the Outer Banks and seaside towns of North Carolina and to dozens of seaboard locations in South Carolina and Georgia where he met, photographed and interviewed folks for this project. From before sunrise until after dark these men and women work, in all types of weather, through the seasons. Bound by the rhythms of the tides, they struggle to support themselves,, Over numerous trips to the area, Barnwell visited dozens of small communities, going out on a variety of shrimping and fishing boats, spending time getting to know the boat captains, strikers on the back of the trawlers, dock workers, food processors and restaurant employees. more, >click to read< 19:30

Coast Guard assists four mariners aboard disabled fishing vessel 90 miles off Georgetown, South Carolina

The Coast Guard assisted four mariners aboard their disabled vessel approximately 90 miles Southeast of Georgetown, South Carolina, Friday morning. Sector North Carolina watchstanders received a report from District Seven watchstanders that the good Samaritan vessel Costco Hope had located the 67-foot fishing vessel Morgan Lea that had become disabled due to engine failure and was in need of assistance. >click to read< 16:32

2019 Climate Ready Fisheries Act: Rep. Cunningham meets with Lowcountry fishermen, will introduce sustainable fishing bill

2019 Climate Ready Fisheries Act – Congressman Joe Cunningham met with fishermen on Shem Creek to discuss the impacts of climate change on the fishing industry. The democratic representative for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District says he plans to introduce a bill on Capitol Hill Tuesday that will encourage sustainable fishing. Rep. Cunningham says development and rising costs have forced fishermen out of business Shem Creek. But tonight he says the way to save the industry is to preserve the environment. >click to read< 12:05

Fisheries disaster declared in multiple fisheries, multiple states

Wednesday,, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced his determination that commercial fishery failures occurred for multiple fisheries between 2017 and 2019 in Alaska, California, Georgia, and South Carolina, while further finding that a catastrophic regional fishery disaster occurred for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama due to extreme flooding events in the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read< 17:41

Commercial shrimping season opens today in Georgia and South Carolina

Commercial shrimp trawling will open in all legal South Carolina waters at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29. Georgia state waters will open to trawling at the same time. Hopes are high that 2019 will bring a plentiful harvest after the previous year of relatively poor shrimping. In January 2018, an unusually cold period killed the vast majority of the white shrimp overwintering in South Carolina waters, delaying the 2018 opening of shrimp season until mid-June. Fortunately, according to regular trawl surveys conducted by South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) biologists, white shrimp numbers appear to have returned to at least the 10-year average, hopefully heralding a better season for the state’s commercial fishery. >click to read<08:58

South Carolina: Local organization speaks out against seismic testing

Friday, seismic testing was given the go-ahead by the National Marine Fisheries Services, which is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Last year, the U.S. Department of Interior denied the seismic permits. They said the damage caused to marine animals and the fishing industry was not worth it.It is now a go, and Lowcountry organizations are upset because seismic testing is the first step to potentially allowing offshore drilling. “We are extremely against seismic air gun blasts,” Peg Howell, spokesperson for Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic, said. >click to read<20:50

Lawmakers urge more FDA inspections of imported seafood, win approval

An effort to increase the amount of imported seafood the U.S. inspects for health issues has crossed a hurdle in the Senate. Louisiana’s two Republican senators, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, won approval of a measure that would add $3.1 million the FDA’s budget for such testing. Shrimpers in Terrebonne and Lafourche, joined by their peers in other states, have pushed for the measure,, The group represents shrimp fishermen and processors in Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. Video >click to read<17:48

Fishing for White, Brown, and Pink Shrimp is Now Open Off South Carolina in Federal Waters

Federal waters adjacent to South Carolina state waters are open to fishing for white, brown, and pink shrimp as of 4:15 p.m., local time, June 13, 2018. South Carolina state waters remain closed until the state determines an appropriate reopening date. South Carolina closed its state waters to all shrimping on January 10, 2018, due to a prolonged period of water temperatures at or below 9°C in the region. South Carolina requested NOAA Fisheries close federal waters off South Carolina to shrimping. The federal closure was effective January 17, 2018. >click to read<18:17

Blame the cold winter: There’s still no date for the opening of South Carolina shrimp season

South Carolina’s commercial shrimp season — already nearly a month behind its average opening date — might not open any time soon. The bright spot is that a delayed spring season usually turns into a good fall catch. S.C. Department of Natural Resources biologists began another round of sample trawls Tuesday checking whether the spring shrimp had spawned and whether the summer crop had grown to good size. Off Charleston, they found a mixed net.,,, Shem Creek shrimper Tommy Edwards, who took the biologists offshore, still found a reason for some optimism. >click to read<12:46

Why Maine Is The Only State In The US With A ‘Significant’ Elver Fishery

If you’ve ever read a story in the news about elver fishing season, you’ve probably seen some variation of this line: “Maine’s the only state in the U.S. with a significant fishery for elvers.” Maybe you thought that’s because elvers don’t exist in large numbers outside of Maine — that would be a reasonable assumption. But the real reason is somewhat more complicated. Let’s start at the beginning, in the Sargasso Sea. Although it sounds romantic, the Sargasso Sea is actually just an area of the North Atlantic that’s full of Sargassum,,, >click to read<14:56

It’s getting harder to reel in a living on the SC coast

Pete Kornack launched his oyster boat into “white knuckle” thick fog on a recent morning and came back with a good harvest, some 16 bushels. The hoist squeaked almost musically pulling the bags of oysters from the boat to the dock. But it wasn’t like the days when Kornack, 50, was young. Crews then would bring back 90 bushels, sometimes shoveling them into the boat. Today, commercial shellfish harvesters like Kornack often have to supplement the living they love by finding other jobs. >click to read<15:54

It’s getting harder to reel in a living on South Carolina coast

Pete Kornack launched his oyster boat into “white knuckle” thick fog on a recent morning and came back with a good harvest, some 16 bushels. The hoist squeaked almost musically pulling the bags of oysters from the boat to the dock. But it wasn’t like the days when Kornack, 50, was young. Crews then would bring back 90 bushels, sometimes shoveling them into the boat. Today, commercial shellfish harvesters like Kornack often have to supplement the living they love by finding other jobs. >click to read<10:27

Federal waters off Georgia, South Carolina closed to fishing for brown, pink, white shrimp

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced on Jan. 24 that NOAA Fisheries have closed federal waters off Georgia to all fishing for brown, pink, and white shrimp. During the closure, no person may trawl for brown, pink, or white shrimp in federal waters off Georgia effective at 8:45 a.m. on Jan. 24Georgia, South Carolina NOAA Fisheries will issue a new Fishery Bulletin announcing the re-opening to shrimp harvest in federal waters off Georgia once the date is determined.. >click here to read< and in South Carolina >click here to read<17:55

Empty nets and light wallets as fall shrimp season disappoints in South Carolina

The fall white shrimp season has been a painful one for South Carolina’s diminished fleet of trawlers, with many people wondering what’s become of all the tasty crustaceans. “They’re just not here,” said Grace Edwards, head of Shem Creek Fisheries, whose husband runs a trawler. “They are having a terrible season,” said Jimmy Bagwell, chairman of the Save Shem Creek Corp. “A lot of the boats have gone to Florida and Georgia to try to catch something.” In McClellanville, Mayor Rutledge B. Leland III runs Carolina Seafood, and he’s seen the same thing. “It’s really been a pretty sad fall, so far,” he said. Some shrimpers have headed up to North Carolina, where Leland said they are having a better season. click here to read the story 15:29

Help Shem Creek Fleet Pay The Billsclick here for the fundraiser

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina Reeling After Irma’s Historic Assault; Navy Dispatches Ships, Aircraft Carrier to the Keys

An aircraft carrier has been dispatched to the Florida Keys to help with relief efforts as Irma after its historic assault on Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, killing at least nine people. Five deaths have been attributed to the storm in Florida, including two deaths in Hardee County, one death Orange County, one in St. Johns County and one in Winter Park. Deaths were also reported in Georgia’s Worth and Forsyth counties and the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs. click here to read the story 09:59

Canadian power crews head to Irma-hit Florida to help restore service – Dozens of Canadian power crews are heading to Florida to help restore power to millions of people affected by Hurricane Irma. click here to read the story

South Carolina restricts flounder fishing in an effort to help the species recover

Anyone fishing for flounder from a dock or pier can keep only 10 fish per day, down from a limit of 15 flounder per day, according to restrictions approved this past spring by the Legislature. Fishing boats can keep no more than 20 flounder per day, regardless of how many anglers are in the vessel.The previous boat limit was 30 flounder.  The rules apply to recreational anglers as well commercial fishermen who use hooks and lines, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Violating the bag limit carries fines of $25 to $500 and possible jail time. In a news release Wednesday, DNR biologists said the tighter fishing limits mean 30 percent fewer fish will be landed in the next two years, giving flounder a chance to come back. click here to read the story 11:47

Beaufort shrimper brings damaged trawler home: ‘It’s life or death. It’s what we do’

If not for opening day, a shrimp fleet might have been spared the dings, bruises and brokenness the boats were nursing at a private dock on St. Helena Island on Thursday. But opening day for a shrimper is a hallowed date. South Carolina waters are open to trawling and those who make a living in white rubber boots are on the water. Even when the weather this week churned up some of the nastiest conditions experienced fishermen had ever seen. It was during a storm early Wednesday morning, in the dark more than a mile off of Pritchards Island, that the shrimp boat Gracie Belle was waiting for daylight and the 8 a.m. start of shrimp season. The boat and its crew wouldn’t make it to work, though all would be saved by the end of the day. Good Video, Great story!  Click here to read the story 18:12

AMSEA to hold two Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Workshops in South Carolina in March

Alaska Marine Safety Education Association workshops meet the U. S. Coast Guard training requirements for drill conductors on documented commercial fishing vessels operating beyond the federal boundary line. On Thursday, March 9, a workshop will be conducted in Murrells Inlet from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Murrells Inlet Community Center, 4462 Murrells Inlet Road. A second workshop will be conducted on Saturday, March 11 in McClellanville at the McClellanville Town Office, 405 Pinckney Street. Instructor Michael Lawson will cover man-overboard recovery and firefighting, emergency position-indicating radio beacon stations, flares and maydays, emergency drills, helicopter rescue, life rafts and abandon ship procedures, personal floatation devices, immersion suits and cold-water survival skills. The workshop will include an “in-the-water” practice session for participants to practice survival skills. Interested mariners may register for the workshops online at www.amsea.org or call AMSEA at 907-747-3287. Link 07:15

White shrimp weighing in at 10-12 count per pound? In late January?

That is exactly how the 2016-17 commercial shrimping season in South Carolina state waters wound up earlier this week, at the end of January. The season typically closes by mid-January but excellent catches of jumbo shrimp by trawlers kept it open later. “I’ve had people tell me they’ve never seen big shrimp like this out there this time of year,” Mel Bell, Director of the Office of Fisheries Management for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, said on Thursday. “It’s been an unusual close to the season. It’s normally closed by mid-January, and if it’s a colder winter, maybe earlier. “We’ve never seen that phenomenon of those large shrimp offshore. I’ve talked to fishermen who have been in the industry for decades and they’ve never seen anything like that.” Read the story here 18:07