Shem Creek fisherman are now able to sell their fresh-off-the-boat catch at a Saturday fish market, unanimously approved by the Mount Pleasant Town Council.
Huzzah for local fisheries and small victories!
Recently, we had lunch with Grace Edwards, the Executive Director of Shem Creek Fisheries, an organization dedicated to the support of local fisheries and the driving force behind the new market. She invited us to check it out, hang with some of the fishermen, and talk about our Good Catch Program. We’re so glad we did!
We got acquainted with some of the local fisherman and their shrimp boats including The Mrs. Judy Too manned by Grace Edward’s husband, Tommy Edwards; Tommy Cannon and his boat The Lady J; Bill Beckham’s Shem Creek Crab Co.; and Magwood Team’s The Winds of Fortune. These guys were selling delicious, fresh shrimp straight out of their Saturday morning haul!
Grace explained that the local fishermen have to find ways to sell their own product as they don’t have access to a retail outlet. The fish market gives them the opportunity to sell their product in a professional yet intimate environment where they can engage with people and answer any questions customers may have about the catch.
Even better, no seafood brokers or retail vendors are allowed. Only local, fresh catch from our local, friendly fisherman.
The fishermen discussed differences between local/domestic shrimp vs imported, including the bevy of harmful contaminants, like banned chemicals and pesticides, in imported shrimp. Of course, we stressed that the best way to find out where your shrimp is from is to just ask! Ask your local supermarket, ask before you order at a restaurant.
There was also an educational demonstration on bycatch reduction devices, a tool designed to minimize accidental capture of marine animals.
Catch the Fish Market at Moultrie Middle School on Saturdays from 8 am to 12 pm. Not only will you will come home with everything you need for a tasty shrimp dinner but, we promise you’ll learn a little something about responsible and sustainable fishing, too. And bonus, you’ll be supporting our local fisheries.
By the way, we took a pound home ourselves!