A town in South Carolina is working to keep the local shrimp fishery alive. Mount Pleasant is known for its natural and cultural heritage, waterfront views, and shrimp. Within the town is the frequently visited Shem Creek, a tidal tributary with a rich history of being a traditional harbor for residents for over 300 years. It was a lively waterway in the eighteenth century, and the shrimp industry became a big part of the creek's identity back in the 1930s.  

Last Monday, the start of a year-long construction project of a new shrimp processing facility and dock began for the town. Town officials state that this project has been planned for five years and costs nearly $3 million, according to ABC 4 News.

Mount Pleasant bought the Shem Creek shrimp docks back in 2019 to renovate and keep the industry alive. “Shrimping is a big part of Mount Pleasant’s history. We want to preserve and protect it,” Kevin Mitchell, the town’s deputy director of engineering and development services, told ABC.

Shrimpers who have fished out of that area shared that the project couldn’t have come sooner. One of the owners of Tarvin Seafood, a family-owned business in the area, shared that the processing facility and boardwalk have been a safety hazard for employees and customers. Crews are currently removing and replacing parts to ensure the structural design of the docks and building is secure for years to come.

The project's funding comes from the town’s capital improvement program. Town leaders have budgeted and recognized the importance of shrimping to the town.

“The mayor and town council are behind the shrimping industry,” Mitchell shared. “They’ve invested in the purchase of this property to protect it from being developed and maintain the shrimp industry.”

ABC also shared that all shrimp and seafood sales by the dock will stay open during the renovation project, with the construction expected to wrap up next summer.

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Carli is a Content Specialist for National Fisherman. She comes from a fourth-generation fishing family off the coast of Maine. Her background consists of growing her own business within the marine community. She resides on one of the islands off the coast of Maine while also supporting the lobster community she grew up in.

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