Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We'd Heard Commercial Shrimping Was About Done Here

When we arrived here, we immediately heard that commercial shrimping was just about dried up here.
High cost of doing business; shrimp farms in Mexico? and various other reasons were given.



Tonight we went for a drive in search of a guy who used to shrimp on George's boat. Didn't find him the first time out but ran into a 31-year-old man who's shrimped since age 16 and been in this area nearly the entire time. He didn't recognize George until he told him what boats he'd ran, then the real talk began.



Now, having not participated in that endeavor, it does sound at times like a foreign language. But, I did catch the part of why shrimping has nearly died here.



Seems the federal government - in their infinite wisdom - decided foreign shrimp operations needed more access to our market so shrimpers here were basically bought out. According to this man, they waited years for any money from Uncle Sam, but were eventually paid. Meanwhile, shrimp is imported here for much less than our shrimpers were paid. Of course, it's all about the money.

The guy we talked to now works for two Chinese men who bought out a shrimp house but leave 4 of 5 boats tied up. They run a small boat with strict instructions NOT to push any dying shrimp over the side. It all gets shipped overseas where their people will eat anything. I suppose in an over populated country where millions are still very poor, food is food.

Now, I'm sure I don't have all the facts, but as usual, our livelihood has been degraded.

I mentioned that we're anxious to have our boat on the river so we could see ALL the boats up close. He said all of them tied at a former fish house had been there for years unused. In fact, he could count on two hands the number of boats of any kind from his space on the river & west that go out more than twice a week! Tt's another sign of how messed up things are.

Of his former shrimping buddies, three have died, five work in other types of jobs, two retired, two are in prison and the remainder survive on part time work.

I told George it was a good thing he left when he did. His eyes were misty & he said, "It's a damn crime."


4 comments:

Craig Cavanaugh said...

It is a damn crime. Mostly Chinese and South American imports now. Not just shrimp either, but the majority of the "seafood" we eat today is farm raised and imported. Very few shrimpers still working here as well. Even the Vietnamese up the road in Rockport, Palacios, etc. are being put out of business.

Sixbears said...

I did meet one on the water near Tarpon Springs. Didn't know they were getting rare.

There are no shortages of crabbers out there. It's hard to thread a path through their traps in some places.

Rhino said...

I wouldn't be to quick to any seafood out of the gulf .Many strange things happening,shrimp with no eyes,Snapper that look like sheephead with big sores on them leaking out black ooze,crabs full of black crap.oysters contaminated,no thanks,it's a damm shame i grew up loving to fish off the beach in grand isle but never again, Nothing but freshwater fish for me now.

treesong said...

I don't eat seafood unless it's canned tuna so no cruddy stuff for me. Will be interesting to see how George reacts when he catches his first fish.