MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Shem Creek's largest shrimp dock is up for sale, and some are worried it could be the end of our access to local seafood.
"There are only a few locations in the state, and they're all struggling," said Catherine Main, the executive director of the East Cooper Land Trust. "If we don't do something now to save these struggling working waterfronts we're going to lose access to local seafood in our state."
The Wando Dock is up for sale and Main said there are several potential buyers including the East Cooper Land Trust.
"The East Cooper Land Trust is rallying support to buy the parcel," said Main. "It's about a one-acre parcel and we want to buy the land so that the fisherman can forever have access to off load their catch and the community can always have local seafood."
A concern some have is what will happen if the dock is purchased by a buyer in the private sector.
"Likely the property will eventually be converted to private use and a couple initials will enjoy a beautiful view," said Main.
Cynthia Tarvin helps run Tarvin Seafood that currently operates on the Wando Dock.
Tarvin said they're hopeful they can stay on the dock, but aren't sure what is going to happen.
"We would have to find another place to dock the boat and work," said Tarvin.
Tarvin said it's only fair to acknowledge that the owner who is selling the Wando Dock is trying to work with the shrimpers who utilize the dock.
"It's really important to know that it's not us against them," said Tarvin. "The owners of the property are fishing families themselves and they have been very good to the shrimpers over the years."
Tarvin said she can sympathize with the owner's decision to sell.
"If it was my property I would feel like I wanted to do what was right for me," Tarvin said."I feel like they have that attitude and think they are working as much as they can to meet their needs as well as make it work for the fishing community."
The East Cooper Land Trust and Mt. Pleasant town officials met on Monday afternoon about the potential to help preserve the dock.
Mt. Pleasant Mayor Haynie told Live 5 News on Friday that the town is exploring ways to help keep the dock preserved.