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Walter Edgar's Journal: Where have all the shrimp boats gone?

Woody Collins
Courtesy of the author
Woody Collins

People have been catching and eating shrimp off the coast of the Carolinas for centuries. The shrimping industry in South Carolina, however, only started about 100 years ago. And trawling, or “fishing,” for shrimp became a way of life in the Lowcountry, as well as a way of making a living.

“Captain Woody” Collins was shrimping for 40 of those years and he has stories to tell.

And he’s a pretty good historian, the proof being his book, Where Have All the Shrimp Boats Gone? (2022 SP Books) The book, self-published, is about sold out – but, have no fear, we got Woody in the studio for a lively conversation, sharing his stories, the history of shrimping in South Carolina, and answering the question posed in his book’s title.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.