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"F" is for Fishing, commercial

South Carolina from A to Z logo

  "F" is for Fishing, commercial. With extensive estuaries and barrier islands, the coastal areas of South Carolina are important regional nurseries for fisheries. The state's commercial fisheries are characterized by small-scale, individual operators harvesting primarily shrimp, offshore finfish, blue crabs, and oysters. Shrimping is the state's largest fishery. The two major shrimp crops are brown shrimp, caught in early summer, and white shrimp, harvested in late summer and throughout the fall. The second most important fishery is offshore finfish—swordfish, mahi-mahi, grouper, snapper, and other deep-water fish. This fishery is limited because of the distance between local ports and the Gulf Stream. Like the other fisheries the blue crab industry and oystering have seen better days. Increased competition from abroad and alternative employment opportunities in the lowcountry have contributed to the decline in the commercial fishing industry.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson 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.