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May 10, 2010 11:23 AM by Sarah Rosario

No Shrimping! Shrimpers Livelihood in Danger

Shrimpers have been on a roller coaster lately. First they rushed for an emergency shrimping season that opened April 29th. It was quickly closed may 4th. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries then decided to open shrimp season this Monday but because of the oil creeping to the coast, Saturday, they closed the season for a second time.

Many of the frustrated shrimpers gathered in Delcambre today. After weeks of being given the run around they say they've had enough. Their livlihoods are at stake and they say something needs to be done. "If we don't get any shrimp the season will be gone. That's all we do over here," said Ocean Harvest owner Ruth Pitre.

Hundreds of Shrimpers were prepared and ready to go for shrimp season. With boats filled with ice and groceries in their back seats, all of them were put on hold by the department of wildlife and fisheries. LDWF shut down zone one and delayed shrimping in zone two, which includes Vermilion Bay until further notice. "I don't understand what's going on. Why did they open it, close it, then re-open it and close it again. The oil is not even here," said Shrimper Tonette Dupre.

Dupre and her husband have been shrimping for 35 years. This season they expect to lose more than 50-thousand dollars. Thousands went out the door just this weekend. "I went to outfit my boat, I got ice and fuel and it cost me 2,000 just to outfit by boat," said Thelma Martin, Galliano Shrimper.

"This is ridiculous, we want to work, let us work. We know when to stop. We're keeping up with the news; we'll know when it's getting too close. We're not dummies! We might look it but we're not," said Martin.

Right now, the oil is moving towards grand isle but not vermilion bay. So, many of the shrimpers have contacted their state representatives hoping that wildlife and fisheries will open at least half of zone two.

Sarah Rosario
srosario@katctv.com

 

 

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