Living in the Lowcountry, we are guided by historical traditions that center on seafood. We anxiously rifle our shuckers out of the kitchen drawer to take to annual oyster roasts. We save our daily newspapers to spread across the table where the delicious contents of Lowcountry boil will end up. We debate with our neighbors over which local restaurant serves the best shrimp and grits. Seafood is a part of life in South Carolina.
As consumers, we have a powerful voice in driving the seafood market. Although many of us do what we can to choose local and regional seafood products when the opportunity arises, the low cost of imported seafood driven by a lack of regulations has caused southeast regional fisheries to significantly decline. The result is that most of the seafood from our waters is exported, while our restaurants and grocery stores import most of their seafood. By creating a process in which seafood travels thousands of miles for consumption, we inevitably increase our carbon footprint and build a path for damaging effects to our landscape.
That’s why our longstanding sustainable seafood program, Good Catch, has undergone a transformation with an emphasis on supporting local seafood practices. We define “local” as any type of seafood sourced from southeast regional fisheries, which range from North Carolina to the east coast of Florida. These fisheries adhere to some of the strongest regulations worldwide, which take into consideration the long-term viability of each species and the ocean’s ecological balance as a whole.
In short, southeast regional fisheries ensure each species that they harvest and sell is harvested at the correct age, in the correct quantity and during the correct season – making them a “good catch.”
Good Catch works with local restaurants, seafood purveyors, caterers and collaborators who share our mission of supporting sustainable seafood practices. Each partner we collaborate with observes guidelines emphasizing the purchase of locally sourced seafood for their business.
Partner Levels and Requirements
– Basic partners source 1/3 of their annual seafood inventory from southeast regional fisheries
– Gold partners source 1/2 of their annual seafood inventory from southeast regional fisheries
– Platinum partners source 1/2 of their annual seafood inventory locally & adhere to South Carolina Aquarium plastic reduction guidelines
During Eat Local Month, dine with Good Catch partners and feel confident your seafood is locally sourced. Stay up-to-date with what’s in season on the seafood front by referencing our What’s In Season chart.