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Mississippi shrimp fleet blessed in face of freshwater flood

Posted at 3:24 PM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 16:24:56-04

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi’s shrimp fleet got its ceremonial blessing Sunday for the 90th time, even as shrimpers worry about fresh floodwaters harming shrimp production.

WLOX-TV reports shrimp boats passed through the Biloxi Channel with flags flying after a wreath was dropped from a helicopter to remember those who have died.

The Mississippi Sound, traditionally a nursery for young shrimp, has been inundated with Mississippi River floodwater released through Louisiana’s Bonnet Carre Spillway. That’s made the protected arm of the Gulf of Mexico much less salty that usual, and could harm shrimp production.

Andi Oustalet, a judge in the boat decoration contest, says people in the seafood industry are worried about conditions. Oustalet says she remains optimistic that the industry can survive and improve, even though shrimpers in Mississippi have dwindled.