Low Turnout For Opening Of Shrimp Season

Wednesday morning, 538 shrimp boats made their annual pilgrimage into the Mississippi Sound. According to the DMR, that was the lowest opening day total in years.

Price is the biggest fear going into this shrimp season. Shrimpers have no idea if their catch will turn a profit, and that worry isn't confined to the docks.

The face of C. F. Gollott's seafood has changed over of the years. When Brian Gollott was a kid, he used to bag shrimp.

"You had a table where they dump the shrimp on, you took a scoop and you scoop it up, and you put it in a bag and put it in a box," Gollott said.

Like his father and his grandfather, Gollott and his brothers have taken on the family business. But a lot has changed in 72 years.

"This is high tech compared to when my father started."

New machines now line the walls.

"Back in them days if we did a 1000 pounds of shrimp in an hour, we thought we were working really hard."

But Gollott says the most important change is cheaper shrimp from around the world.

"It's a competitive world. We have to be competitive with those foreign shrimp prices."

In just four years, Mississippi shrimp has decreased in value three fold. Brian Gollott just hopes it pays off for future generations.

The Southern Shrimp Alliance is fighting to help our local fishermen survive. They say that from 2000 to 2002, the average fishermen's salary dropped by half. They are trying to get tariffs placed on imported shrimp to help boost the American seafood market.