Rising Fuel Prices Create Rough Waves For Commercial Fishermen - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Rising Fuel Prices Create Rough Waves For Commercial Fishermen

OCEAN SPRINGS (WLOX) -- High fuel prices could cause a ripple effect from South Mississippi's shoreline to your dinner table. That's because many commercial fisherman are having a tough time filling up their boats, as diesel prices continue to rise.

Now, some fishermen say rising diesel prices are making them think twice about heading out on the water.

Richard Bosarge said shrimping has become risky business. A slow day on the water could be enough to dock his boat for good.

"Your expenses are right off the top for fuel. Almost $400 a night, that's not including groceries or help," said Bosarge.

Bosarge says local shrimpers have held prices steady at $2 a pound for decades. It's unlike a grocery store, where wholesalers deliver their product with a surcharge and prices frequently change.

"Beef steaks are $2.99 a pound, bologna is $2 a pound. Shrimp is just barely $2 a pound. They think, 'Oh, you can go down there and get it for cheap because they've got to get rid of it,'" said Bosarge. 

And when it comes to fishing for bait, Kenny DiNero said there's many days his bait shop can't afford to scrape the bottom, because fuel prices keep floating to the top.

"It's too expensive. Diesel is probably a dollar a gallon to a $1.50 a gallon higher than last year. I can't get $6 for a pound of bait, so someone's gonna have to do something," said DiNero.

If the diesel prices don't trickle down, Bosarge says it's a matter of time before local shrimpers nets are left high and dry.

"Straight off the boat, shrimp prices are going to have to come up just to compensate for this fuel, or fishermen just aren't gonna make it," said Bosarge.

DiNero says he's also noticed recreational fishermen are going out less often, so they can save on their fuel costs.

By Keli Rabon

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