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Dean Blanchard, a seafood processor on Grand Isle said his company would normally process more than 1 million pounds of shrimp in November. This year, they only brought in 40,000 pounds.
State biologists say there's no official data yet on how bad the season was or what may have caused it. Many shrimpers remain worried that the oil spill and chemicals related to Nike Long Sleeve Sweater
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can't pay their bills, Blanchard said. come to work and every day someone's trying to get a loan.
In addition, there's been declining participating in the shrimp industry. There aren't as many fishermen, there aren't as many licenses sold and there aren't as many trips taken.
The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced last week that most inside waters would be closed to fishing to protect developing shrimp and allow them to grow to more marketable sizes.
Researchers will investigate whether the spill is to blame as a part of the Natural Resources Damage Assessment, a process that will determine how the spill impacted all aspects of the Gulf Coast environment. That process will likely take a decade or more.
terrible. It's not even close, Blanchard said. only shrimp we're getting are from somewhere else.
After the poor season, many fishermen are looking for new jobs, Babin said.
The amount of shrimp produced around Grand Isle and Barataria Bay, normally a very productive fishery, has dropped dramatically since the spill, Blanchard said.
There are other differences in the environment that shrimpers speculate are due to the oil spill.
Martin Bourgeois, a biologist with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Nike Leggings Striped said the state has received the same anecdotal stories about the poor season. But hard data about how this season compares to past years won't be available until March, when trip tickets have been returned and processed.
There's no doubt, however, that the slump comes at a bad time for shrimpers, who have battled low prices for their catch, competition from imported seafood, high fuel prices and multiple disasters, including hurricanes and the BP oil spill.
been in the shrimp processing business for 34 years, and this is the worst fall shrimp season I've ever seen, said Danny Babin, general manager of Gulf Fish Inc. in Houma, who Nike Winter Coats For Boys
Lance Nacio, a shrimper and owner of Anna Marie Seafood in Dulac, said an unusual abundance of jelly fish in shrimping grounds plugged nets. He speculates the jelly fish population explosion is related to the spill.
There are other factors that could have depressed shrimp catches this year, Bourgeois said.
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speculates, but it sure is a coincidence that this happens the year after the oil spill, Babin said. don't think it is a coincidence. But we're not biologists, we're just shrimpers and processors.
The poor shrimping this year has been acknowledged by BP claims czar Ken Feinberg, who announced last month that he would double payouts for fishermen who have not yet resolved their claims. Shrimp and crab harvesters and processors will receive four times their documented 2010 losses from now on.
Many shrimpers remain concerned that the oil and related chemicals crashed shrimp populations and could continue to affect fishing into the future.
There was near record flooding in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers this spring, which could have impacted the fall shrimp season, though it's not certain, he said. Freshwater flooding can deplete oxygen levels, causing marine animals to flee or die. Fresh water could also displace shrimp from the areas where they typically reproduce and develop, Bourgeois said.
Bourgeois said it's difficult to speculate on what caused the poor season.
Shrimp season worst in recent history
the cleanup caused low shrimp catches, though there's no official evidence to back that up.
shrimp season was average from Dulac to west Louisiana, and above average in Biloxi and Alabama. But over here where the oil hit, there's nothing, Blanchard said.
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