Praise for Our Local Seafood

For the past several Thanksgivings we have decided to share the holidays on the coast on Edisto Island. No to-do lists and plenty of food. Tonight. Low Country Boil. I ride my bike to the marina to get some fresh carolina shrimp. I love getting any seafood where I can see and smell where the boats are bringing them in. Shrimp, oysters, oh so good.

One surprising fact I learned this morning was that South Carolina produced more oysters than North Carolina, Georgia, or the eastern side of Florida combined. There was a story in the newspaper today about how many folks along the coast are planting oyster reefs alongside waterfront homes as an alternative to riprap or a sea wall. This sounds like a win-win solution for people and the environment.

“Water quality is “the big ‘but.’ Of all the fisheries, the one where we have really good potential to expand is shellfish. But we’ve got to be really careful about our water quality.”
-Mel Bell, S.C. Department of Natural Resources fisheries management director.

While we are doing well with oysters, our oyster production is nowhere near historical production levels. I found this graph below (click on it to expand) which shows the historical expansion and collapse of oyster fisheries for each state.