Mississippi shrimpers say low catches are fishy

BILOXI -- Data collected by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources shows this to be an average to good year for shrimp, but about 100 shrimpers said Tuesday it’s the worst they can remember.

“We have no shrimp at all from Louisiana to Alabama,” said Ten Tran, who said she has been fishing in Mississippi since 1982 and has fishing licenses in all three states.

Other shrimpers said they should be out fishing rather than in a meeting, but their catch isn’t even enough to pay for fuel for their boats.

“We need emergency help,” Tran said.

If the data shows the fishery was significantly damaged by the release of fresh water from the Mississippi River this summer to reduce flooding, federal money may be available to compensate the fisherman. That was done after Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.

The problem is the data tells a different story.

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