What does the history of seafood production in South Carolina tell us?
A New Approch
The South Carolina Seafood Alliance is updating its method of operations. From 2004 to 2016 the alliance was funded primarily from a grant generated through the efforts of Dr. John Dean and Micah Laroche. To continue our service to the South Carolina seafood industry we have curtailed spending and now operate with a Board of Directors and Staff of volunteers, No one is salaried and no one is reimbursed for performing duties for the Alliance. One hundred percent of all membership and support funds are dedicated to making sure the Alliance remains solvent. As we progress in this new austerity program we plan to increase our efforts over time as our membership grows.
Best Available Science
This chart demonstrates South Carolina’s seafood production from 1950 to 2017, in dollars adjusted to 2016 values. Note the decrease in production value from 1995 to 2007. Since 2007, the annual production has averaged about $24 million per year. This is approximately 40% of that produced from 1950 to 1995 which averaged just under $40 million per annum. There is one main factor and several ancillary reasons for this drastic reduction in revenue. No reason to rehash the past. The situation is what it is.
A serious potential problem for our shrinking seafood industry is waiting in the shadows to act when entrepreneurs recognize that commercial fishing docks are not the highest and best use for waterfront property. As we lose our working waterfronts we lose those fishing boats that were docked and offloaded at these facilities. Nothing is new here; Sea Grant and others have done extensive studies on how to save some of our working waterfronts for commercial fishing. A couple of projects are in the planning stage and we have high hopes that they may come to fruition. The South Carolina Seafood Alliance is acutely aware of this working waterfronts situation and will continue in 2018 to seek a permanent solution to keep our fishing fleets it business.