South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium
South Carolina Sea Grant Extension Program
The SCSGEP Aquaculture Program's goal is to assist in the development of an economically viable and natural resource-friendly aquaculture industry in the state. South Carolina's aquaculture industry has grown dramatically in the last ten years, and SC Sea Grant has played a leading role in support of that growth. Contact: Jack Whetstone
Examples of How We Work:
The SCSGEP works with industry and regulatory agencies to develop regulations and "Best Management Practices" (BMPs). These BMPs encourage producer's compliance because they are efficient and cost effective. At the same time, they protect the environment.
Addressing sustainable growth is critical. The SCSGEP collaborates with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and other aquaculture producers in finding ways to reduce aquaculture pond discharges into natural waters. To date, discharges have been reduced from 20% per day to less than 5% per day, with no adverse effect on production.
Weed Control / Aquatic Nuisance Species
Aquatic weeds and
other nuisance species, plant and animal, are an increasing threat to
natural ecosystems. The SCSGEP, with the state DNR, worked to eradicate
the first documented infestation of Salvinia molesta. This species
threatened the Ace Basin -- a 350,000-acre natural area, part of which
is designated a Natural Estuarine Research Reserve.
Shrimp Disease / Crop Insurance
Taura Syndrome virus struck state shrimp farms for the first time in 1996. The SCSGEP responded to this crisis, joining with the South Carolina Shrimp Growers Association, to help eight farmers receive USDA crop insurance payments totaling $199,912.00. This was the first USDA crop insurance payment ever made to shrimp farmers in the United States, and prevented several farms from going out of business.
Hard Clam Aquaculture
Hard clam aquaculture has grown dramatically in South Carolina: From 1992 to 1998, it grew twenty times mostly because of Sea Grant research and SCSGEP outreach work. Sea Grant helped fund early research leading to the Sea Perfect Atlantic Farms opening in 1991. The SCSGEP aquaculture specialist assisted Sea Perfect in establishing a "Family Clam Farmer" program, which continues to flourish. The SCSGEP also worked with others to adapt, test, and perfect a tidally powered, upwelling system for rapid, efficient production of clam seed.
Eastern United States Interstate Shellfish Seed Transport Workshop
A shellfish seed
transport workshop was held at the South Carolina Marine Resources Center,
Charleston, SC in February 2002 to exchange information concerning the
need to protect state resource interests, reduce risks associated with
shellfish importation and facilitate interstate commerce of aquaculture
products. This publication is updated periodically and includes abstracts
from the workshop and breakout summaries as well as current (1) east coast
state contacts for interstate shellfish importations, (2) shellfish pathologists,
and (3) a contemporary east coast shellfish hatchery and nursery list.