S.C. DNR begins saltwater fishing education program

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 3:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2021 at 6:02 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is worried about saltwater marine life levels as more people are fishing and vacationing after 2020.

South Carolina DNR has had a freshwater fishing education program for a decade using volunteer fisherman to teach people proper angling in their local areas. Less than a year before the COVID-19 pandemic, they began a similar program for saltwater fishing.

The Pier Outreach Program is growing slowly, alongside rising concerns for the ecosystem the program is working to help protect.

“We know especially this past year with COVID our saltwater fishing license sales have significantly increased as well as our boating sales, and so that means there’s more people out on the water and there’s more people fishing. So that definitely does raise some concern of overfishing and we have been seeing some of that with certain fish species from our research institute,” said Olivia Bueno, DNR’s Marine Resource Division Volunteer Coordinator.

In Beaufort she says it’s difficult to find volunteers to help educate the public, because most people fish off their boats and not in public locations.

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