McClellanville working to preserve local fishing industry

Updated: Apr. 17, 2019 at 6:39 AM EDT
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MCCLELLANVILLE, SC (WCSC) -McClellanville is a small town that produces a big catch.

Fishing and shrimping remain a major source of income for many residents. However the future of the local docks is uncertain. The docks sit along Jeremy Creek, ushering in boats from sun up to sun down.

The fishermen, the mayor, and the community are all working with the East Cooper Land Trust to secure the millions of dollars through grants from the state and Charleston County to save one of the few local commercial fishing docks that are left in the Lowcountry.

“The boats get stacked up four and five boats wide into the creek," said Catherine Main, Executive Director of The East Cooper Land Trust. “Boats even come in from North Carolina and other places and it gives them a place to stop over and offload their catch here, then go out and catch more seafood. So its not only for the local boats its also for people who need a place to stop over,”

On Wednesday, the community is hosting a meeting with engineers to come up with the best plan of action and they’re inviting you to come.

Many local fisherman are concerned that they won’t have jobs in a few years.

Rut Leland III has been the Mayor of McClellanville for more than 40 years and he also owns Carolina Seafood. Eventually, he wants to retire so he is fighting to ensure that the fishing career is around for generations to come.

“For Charleston County, 70 percent of the shrimp that comes into Charleston County comes in through Carolina Seafood. For the entire state its about 35% of the shrimp that comes from Carolina Seafood. So for anyone who loves local seafood its important that we protect this land,” said Main.

Wednesday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m at McClellanville Town Hall.

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