Shrimpers not impressed with first catches of the season - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Shrimpers not impressed with first catches of the season

A shrimper shows some of the shrimp caught on the first day (Image Source: WLOX News) A shrimper shows some of the shrimp caught on the first day (Image Source: WLOX News)
Several wholesalers say the shrimp are small at first (Image Source: WLOX News) Several wholesalers say the shrimp are small at first (Image Source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -  Usually on the first day of shrimp season, many of the fishing boats will go out and stay overnight, by early Wednesday evening many shrimping boats were already back in the Biloxi small craft harbor. The consensus is that the shrimp are too small, and the season may have opened too early.

“They got some big ones mixed in there. Some small ones, they should get bigger as the summer goes on,” said Forte.

Forte who is the son of Jerry Forte, and works for his father's company, is optimistic that the shrimp will get bigger and more plentiful as the season goes on, but judging by their first batch it could turn out to be a tough season for not only the fishermen but the wholesalers too.

“It makes the boats not want to go out there and work their butt off for not getting paid that much for them, you know. Last year it was like record high prices and this year it was like record low you know it's a big difference,” said Forte.

Darlene Kimball who sets up shop right next door at the Pass Christian harbor says she has already received bad news from her fishermen.

“There's quite a few of them saying they wish they would have waited a couple more weeks. They shrimp would have grown a little bit,” said Kimball.

Over in the Biloxi small craft harbor, the frustration continued. Jamie Bright summed up their first catch in one word.

“Small, all the way from Gulfport channel to Gautier the shrimp are running 60, 70, 80, 100 and that takes 80 to 100 to make a pound,” said Bright.

Bright says average is about 40 to 50 a pound, and the ones they caught are not even worth selling.

“That's why we come in because you can't pay for the fuel or nothing else. So, what we got I guess we just friends and stuff like that,” said Bright.

Quite a few people hit the docks excited about the start of shrimp season looking to take a few pounds home, but were not impressed with what they saw.

“I came down due to the fact the season opening, and very disappointed with what we found here today. If something's not done its gone be a bad year on the shrimp business in the state,” said Mike Stuckey.

According to Melissa Scallan with the DMR, about 310 shrimp boats were observed in Mississippi waters today. Some decent catches of 40-50/50-60-count brown shrimp were reported between Deer and Horn Islands.

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