As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 27, the commercial shrimp trawling season is open in all legal South Carolina waters, according to a press release from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

In the release, the SCDNR reported that this start date is in line with the average year and they expect there to be a healthy supply of roe white shrimp, which are typically plentiful in the spring shrimping season.

“Based on field sampling completed by SCDNR biologists earlier in the year, as well as reported landings of shrimp from federal waters and our provisional areas beginning in mid-April, our white shrimp abundance this year should be about average or slightly better in comparison to previous similar years,” said SCDNR Office of Fisheries Management director Mel Bell.

“Provisional areas” were open to local boats on April 15 when the provisional trawling season began. This period allows local shrimpers to take advantage of the offshore harvest while still protecting the larger population that have yet to spawn.

While the coronavirus pandemic disrupted local shrimpers’ ability to sell to restaurants, it also gave them the opportunity to add more retail grocery stores as customers. This coupled with the reopening of many Charleston-area restaurants should lead to a high demand for local shrimp during the spring season. 

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