Shrimp Season's First Month Has Large Shrimp But Low Prices

As a shrimper poured a bucket of shrimp into an ice chest, he smiled and said, "These are nice shrimp." They were just what Pastor Anthony Wells was looking for.

The pastor bought 30 pounds of shrimp, so his friends back in Jackson could savor a South Mississippi delicacy. Pastor Wells said his plan was to take the fresh shrimp back "to my church, and feed some of the people at the church. We'll share with them."

Robert Corbin owned the shrimp boat. He was charging customers $3.50 a pound.

Bill Floyd felt the price was a little high. And he said the shrimp were a little too large for boiling. But, he said, "You take what you can get. He is the only boat in port right now."

Besides, Floyd said, before he left for a trip to Greenwood, "My mother said bring all you can haul."

Captain Corbin didn't expect his tub of shrimp to last very long, because the Lady Barbara didn't have much shrimp on board. "The last two nights," Corbin said, "we caught about seven to eight boxes for the two nights. Which is very poor."

Corbin said the first month of the shrimp season has been pretty rough.

"Slow," was how he described it. He complained that the "price of the shrimp is way down."

Corbin didn't let the price troubles affect his dockside manner. He gave Michelle Hardin a tour of his vessel. The Missouri woman was very impressed.

"It's just different seeing how people go out and actually get the shrimp," she said.

Hardin's son took a picture of the moment. Her husband then bought eight pounds of Mississippi shrimp for the trip back to Missouri.

According to the Department of Marine Resource's web site, the average shrimp season nets about 11,000,000 pounds of shrimp. More than 1,000 shrimp boats were in the Mississippi Sound when the 2002 shrimp season opened.