Shrimp Tales: Small Bites of History


This book portrays the history of the people, places, and boats of the commercial shrimping industry in the southern United States. In the 320 pages there are over 800 pictures and images. Before the invention of refrigerated boxcars in 1875, the US shrimping industry virtually didn't exist. People ate what they caught. The book begins with the region’s earliest shrimpers: Italian and Portuguese fishermen who came to Fernandina and St. Augustine , FL at the end of the 19th century. They combined an enterprising ingenuity with old-world fishing techniques to turn shrimping into a profitable industry. Subsequent chapters show life in major shrimping ports up and down the coast. These include St. Augustine, Fernandina, Thunderbolt and Savannah, Port Royal, Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, Bennetts Point, Edisto, Rockville, Shem Creek, McClellanville and Georgetown. Additionally, a chapter offers a colorful glimpse of the Blessing of the Fleet ceremonies. Finally, there is a chapter that examines the integral role that shrimpers played in keeping the German chemical company, BASF, from building a plant that could have devastated local fishing. This event may have saved the future of many seaside resorts, like Hilton Head, that depended on clean waters. Based on years of research and relentless pursuit of the photos that tell the story, this book is more than just a photo history. It is a story of a community and culture. Photos, drawings and sidebars provide explanations of shrimping operations and equipment. Recipes in each chapter are often provided by a member of one of the local shrimping families. Quotes by local shrimpers, and even some poems, dot the book, reminding us that shrimping in the Southeast is as much about the people and the place as it is about the shrimp. All proceeds of sales will go to the South Carolina Seafood Alliance, which advocates for healthy and safe seafood sources. EAT LOCAL SHRIMP!

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