Shrimping, Crabbing and Oystering: A Southern Culture on the Brink of Extinction The Grit Behind the New Exhibit at Port Royal Sound Foundation’s Maritime Center
Three blank walls. It was all Beverly Jennings needed to set off on a 10-year odyssey that would immerse her into the rough and gritty world of commercial fishing.
Tasked with creating an exhibit on shrimping, crabbing and oystering for the Port Royal Sound Foundation’s Maritime Center in Okatie, the plucky Hilton Head Island retiree began trolling the briny docks of coastal Carolina to learn everything she could about a Southern culture on the brink of extinction.
In the process, she discovered a microcosm of Beaufort County far removed from her comfortable life in Sea Pines. The rugged, weathered men who work on trawlers spend days and weeks at sea, braving unpredictable and perilous waters in search of a big catch. It’s hard, dirty work with long hours and uncertain outcomes.