Mississippi shrimpers say they’re at ‘spillway ground zero’

Mississippi shrimpers say they’re at ‘spillway ground zero’
Small brown shrimp are all most shrimpers are pulling from the Mississippi Sound thanks to the algae blooms and influx of freshwater.

WAVELAND, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s barely a week into the 2019 shrimp season, and many of those who drop the nets for a living say this year may be one of the worst ever. That includes those who work and fish in the waters in and around Hancock County.

The lack of shrimp on the conveyor belt at Pincher's Seafood says it all. Sure, they've caught shrimp, but they caught them in Louisiana waters.

“The south side of the Louisiana marsh, Chandeleur Sound, Breton Sound, that’s the only place they are,” said Kendall Marquar. “These are brown shrimp, and they’re not growing. Most of our boats are going to Louisiana because there’s nothing in Mississippi."

Marquar says between the freshwater causing small shrimp, due to the Bonnet Carre Spillway still being open, and the harmful algae blooms, business has been tough.

"The algae blooms are here, the fresh water is here, the numbers are way down,” Marquar added. “Shrimp's not growing. It's horrible. A horrible day for the fishermen."

And while shrimp caught in Louisiana help Pincher’s get by for now, he says those days are also numbered if the spillway stays open.

The Department of Marine Resources is warning people not to eat any seafood caught in the Mississippi Sound in areas where there are algae blooms. However, seafood purchased from licensed seafood markets should be okay since it is coming from safer areas that are further out.

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