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Port Royal hopes to revive shrimp docks, business

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PORT ROYAL, SC (WTOC) -

Just down 11th Street in Port Royal, folks will find the only publicly owned shrimp docks in South Carolina. But in the last few years, council members have had a difficult time keeping them afloat.  

The town of Port Royal is hoping their new dock manager, Joey Morris, will be able to keep money and shrimp flowing up and down the area. Morris is a 30 year veteran of the shrimping business. 

"It pays good money," he said. 

But it's tough work.

"You got to know the water. You got to know where you going. You got to know shrimp, the winds, tides, and everything affects it," said Morris.

His formula for success seems simple.

"You can't make it with a boat if you can't catch shrimp," he said. 

Port Royal's town council is hoping Morris' business success will benefit them. Since the town took over the shrimp docks in 2009, they've lost roughly $25,000 to $30,000 each year.

"The Town of Port Royal has a deep heritage in the crabbing and shrimping industry so we want to try to keep it going as much as possible but we have to stop the bleeding," said council member Tom Klein.

Morris' game plan involves keeping fuel prices as low as possible to bring in more boats. Then as supply increases, he'll shop around for the best shrimp prices while profiting only off the packing costs. The council is providing roughly $20,000 to jumpstart his efforts. 

"We're going to do the best we can," he said.   

Morris says they plan to label the packaged shrimp as "11th Street Seafood." The town currently leases the docks from the South Carolina State Ports Authority. 

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

 

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