The March 26 article "Study: Tons of marine life accidentally caught in fishing nets every year," was unfair to commercial fishing in South Carolina.
We call this the death of a thousand cuts. Ninety-one percent of all seafood consumed in this country is imported and 91 percent of 1,000 is 910.
This being the case, then we have 90 cuts to go.
With only a 9 percent slice of the seafood pie, it is hard to imagine how this nation, much less South Carolina, is contributing to the bycatch problem. But Oceana's Gib Brogan said, "It's fair to say that [S.C. fishermen] are contributing to the problem."
This demonizes those few fishermen left in the industry after a 50 percent reduction in harvesting and catch within the last 15 years.
The article states, "Shrimping is the biggest component of South Carolina's fishing industry, which isn't large by national standards but it is still a notable part of the state's economy."
Maybe you should take a look at the shellfish sector of our industry.
The article also says, "South Carolina's seafood harvest brings in about $25 million, federal statistics show."
This is about right, but that figure was averaging $50 million 15 years ago.
Leave it alone, it's struggling.
Just a few weeks ago we lost another working waterfront at Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant. Wando Seafood closed its doors. It was the last full-services off-load facility on the Creek.
The article erroneously portrayed South Carolina fishermen as an enemy of the environment.
It should have used science that applies directly to South Carolina fishermen and not the national or area statistics that do not apply in any way to South Carolina seafood production.
Please contact the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and the highly migratory species sector at the National Marine Fisheries Service for the science germane to South Carolina wild-caught seafood production.
And please apologize for publishing this article.
Frank Blum Executive Director
South Carolina Seafood Alliance
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