Mount Pleasant declares economic disaster for local shrimpers
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Town of Mount Pleasant officials said the practice of importing shrimp into the United States is making it harder for shrimpers to market and sell wild-caught domestic shrimp.
The economic disaster declaration came during Monday night’s economic development committee meeting.
Dumping is a trade practice when a country has an excess of a product so they export it to another country at a lower rate than it could be sold for in the exporting company.
The practice of shrimp dumping has led to around 90% of shrimp consumed in the United States being imported, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Town officials noted that imported shrimp is having negative effects on the price of domestic shrimp to the point that some shrimpers remain docked and others have gone out of business.
A majority of imported shrimp comes from Southeast Asian countries while the remaining 10% of shrimp consumed in the U.S. is wild-caught domestic shrimp.
Which comes from the Gulf of Mexico, the South Atlantic, and the Pacific Northwest.
Wild-caught domestic shrimp is considered more sustainable than imported shrimp because it is subject to stricter food safety regulations.
However, wild-caught domestic shrimp is also more expensive than imported shrimp.
This is because the supply of wild-caught domestic shrimp is limited and the cost of catching it is higher.
The Southern Shrimp Alliance in August sent a letter to eight southern Atlantic and Gulf Coast governors asking for their help declaring a disaster for shrimpers and to make disaster assistance available to shrimpers.
“Faced with the choice of losing money on a trip - or not being able to sell their catch at all - shrimp fishermen throughout the region remain tied to the dock with no income at the height of the season,” Southern Shrimp Alliance Executive Director John Williams said.
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