Commercial fishermen, freshwater and saltwater aquaculturists and other seafood businesses came together for the 1st Annual South Carolina Seafood Summit on 17 February, 2010 at the Clemson Coastal Research & Education Center/USDA Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, SC.
The purpose was to bring together the two sectors of the state’s seafood industry - wild caught fisheries and fresh/saltwater aquaculture – to discuss the mutual challenges and opportunities that exist in both industries in order to effectively develop solutions to sustain and enhance the future of fisheries and aquaculture in SC.
The Summit featured thirteen speakers covering topics from a global outlook on fisheries and aquaculture to the state of local wild caught and aquaculture sources and resources. The global outlook is important because 84% of all seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported. The SC Department of Agriculture presenter explained the merits of participation in their “Certified South Carolina” and “Fresh on the Menu” ongoing marketing campaigns. Three presenters from North Carolina told of successes they have achieved and lessons learned in their efforts to compete in this arena of readily available products from every corner of the earth.
In the afternoon an interactive session, “Planning for the Future,” using information gleaned from the myriad of facts presented by the speakers melded with local knowledge, was successful in achieving unity of purpose on mutually beneficial solutions and projects.