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Gulf Coast Disaster News

Gulf Shrimp Are Scarce This Season; Answers, Too

November 29, 2011, 10:02 am

By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
Published: October 10, 2011

LAFITTE, La. — The dock at Bundy’s Seafood is quiet, the trucks are empty and a crew a fraction of the normal size sits around a table waiting for something to do. But the most telling indicator that something is wrong is the smell. It smells perfectly fine.

“There’s no shrimp,” explained Grant Bundy, 38. The dock should smell like a place where 10,000 pounds of shrimp a day are bought off the boats. Not this year. In all of September, Bundy’s Seafood bought around 41,000 pounds.

White shrimp season began in late August, and two months in, the shrimpers here say it is a bad one, if not the worst in memory. It is bad not just in spots but all over southeastern Louisiana, said Jules Nunez, 78, calling it the worst season he had seen since he began shrimping in 1950. Some fishermen said their catches were off by 80 percent or more.

“A lot of people say it’s this, it’s that, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s BP,” Mr. Nunez said. “We just don’t know.”

There is plenty that is not known. Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has not compiled landings data for the season, so at this point it is hard to measure with any certainty the degree to which it is abnormal.

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