As crawfish season winds down, the shrimpers take center stage in the seafood industry. Shrimp season here in South Louisiana is opened by the Wildlife and Fisheries Department in what is known as zones; certain areas along the coast have different opening dates for the season. Most of our coastal zones were opened around early-mid May.
As the season is kicked off, locals involved in the seafood industry can’t help but enter the 2011 season with an uneasy feeling. After last year’s BP oil spill disaster, the industry as a whole is still trying to recoup. The oil spill still has many seafood consumers apprehensive about ordering products caught in the Gulf of Mexico.
Another more recent issue is major flooding of the Mississippi River. When officials opened the Morganza and the Bonnet Carre Spillways, a great deal of fresh water invaded the Gulf’s salt water. This may push the shrimp farther out into the salty waters than usual.
Quantity, quality, and price are three major burdens that lay on the fishermen’s minds. With the rising price of diesel and other social and environmental barriers, it will definitely be a trying season for shrimpers.
We hope everyone shows their support for shrimpers all over the South!