The shrimp from about a dozen boats that docked Tuesday night are going through a step by step processing at Gollott's Seafood in D'Iberville. In the old days, shrimp was peeled and deheaded by hand. Today machines peel 4,000 pounds an hour. Owner Brian Gollott says, "Some shrimp are a little bit harder to peel but between 80 and 90,000 pounds a day is what we'll peel."
From the peeler, the shrimp are washed, and separated by size. The whole process takes less than 20 minutes. "From the time we put it in the machine 'til it gets here and we have it on ice in about 35, 36 degree temperature," says Gollott.
The last step is the packing line. The shrimp are put in five pound bags, boxed up and rolled out to be put in freezers. From there they'll be shipped across the country. Gollott says he hopes this hectic pace keeps up through the whole shrimp season. "The seafood business as a whole needs to have a good year, we've had a coupla of rough years with the importation of foreign shrimp but I think this year we're gonna see a good season."
Prices are the lowest they've been in years. That's not good for shrimpers, but a great bargain for consumers. Employee James Fillmore says, "It's gonna be wild, I guarantee. You gonna have people comin' from Hattiesburg, McComb, Texas, Tennessee, you gonna have 'em comin from all over to get these shrimp. "I tell 'em Mississippi got the best shrimp in the world."