Despite reports by experts that initial testing had proved positive, the brown shrimp season has gotten off to a poor start. A government source confirms the catches are down dramatically, and because of the high cost of gas and the low price for gulf shrimp, some fisherman have already given up one week into the season.
“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen for a shrimp season open,” says Acy Cooper, a Venice-based shrimper and VP of the Louisiana Shrimp Association. “The brownies we are getting are very small and there’s not too many of them. People around here can’t make a living with the price of shrimp these days and the high prices of gas. It’s going to get bad around here if we can’t catch more shrimp.”
And despite reports the oil spill hadn’t hit the fisheries as hard as some worried about, now fisherman wonder if the impact of the spill is worse than expected.
“Barataria Bay is just dead,” says Karen Hopkins of Dean Blanchard Seafood, “We’re trying to get Wildlife and Fisheries to close the season down because we don’t want to kill the entire crop of babies.”
Clint Guidry, the President of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, said of Barataria Bay, “It’s still early in the season, but it’s not hard to explain. BP did it. Whether we’ll ever be able to absolutely prove it is another thing.”
The poor catches of brown shrimp are troubling and not just for this season, it’s also a potential indicator of the Gulf’s future health, “I’ve never seen an open like this one,” said David Arnesen, a fisherman and shrimper, “They can’t blame it on high water because some areas don’t get fresh water here. Shrimp are a major food source in the food chain. It may take years to see the full impacts. But it don’t matter which end you hurt. It’s all connected from the top to the bottom. If the shrimp are in trouble, we’re all in trouble.”
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Have a nice…
Oh…one more moment…something I can’t let pass without comment…
When Mitsui agreed to pony up $1 billion dollars to British Petroleum as their portion of damages to the Gulf, Bob Dudley said, “This settlement is an important step forward for BP and the Gulf Communities.”
This corporate BS double-speak drives me crazy. This settlement has nothing to do with Gulf Coast communities and everything to do with helping BP pay what they’re already on the hook for paying. Also, the settlement may strengthen BP’s case they aren’t solely at fault on the Deepwater Horizon and therefore, not “grossly negligent” which will save them billions more in fines…
That isn’t good for the Gulf Coast. That doesn’t make things right.
Nice try, Bob…but stop pretending otherwise.
Have a nice day.