Commercial crabbers fear business will sink from oil leak - - The News for South Mississippi

Commercial crabbers fear business will sink from oil leak


By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – Commercial crabbing is the latest business affected by the BP oil leak.  About 14 miles of state waters in Jackson County are now closed after oil showed up on Petit Bois Island this week.  Now, crabbers are looking for help from the state and BP.

Larry Ryan and his son Larry Jr. are rushing to get all their crab traps out of Jackson County's waters.

"They closed it down because of the oil mess," the younger Ryan said. 

The father and son crabbers have fed their families and South Mississippians off these waters for more than 30 years. 

"We are losing all of it. You can't put a number on all of it." 

The crabbers said they've contacted BP for temporary jobs. 

"BP hired us for a couple of weeks, and BP put us on rotation, and we have not heard no more," Larry Ryan, Sr. said. 

"I talk to BP several times and that is like talking to a kindergartner," Ryan Jr. said. 

The father and son are worried about their future on the water. They urge lawmakers and BP to come up with a better solution to get them out of this mess. 

"A lot of these guys don't have no other skill than what they got. You can't go down to the unemployment office and file for a job as a fisherman. There are not going to hire at the shipyard as a fisherman." 

But if nothing is done soon, these crabbers say they'll have to start looking in the help wanted ads to feed their families. 

"It is a toss up. We don't what we are going to do right now. You have to feed the kids somehow."

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