A Memorial For Those Lost Working The Gulf Coast Seafood Industry.

A memorial has been dedicated in D'Iberville to honor fishermen who lost their lives working in the Gulf Coast seafood industry.

A ceremony was held Saturday with the placement of a 4-foot tall, 400-pound stray anchor found in the Mississippi River at the D'Iberville Veterans Memorial Park. "The sacrifices they made were similar to those of the military veterans this sacred park honors,'' said L.C. "Doc'' Blanchard, chairman of the D'Iberville Veterans Memorial Park.

Loren Fountain of St. Martin donated the anchor, which he said was discovered by his late son, Don Loren Fountain, a tugboat captain out of Baton Rouge, La., in the 1980s. The elder Fountain is a former merchant mariner who transported oil and artillery to American troops fighting the Germans during World War II.  He recalled seafood being a form of currency in Depression-era Biloxi. "The fishermen would trade for sweet potatoes, pork and molasses from inland farmers,'' he said.

For Fountain, the memorial also conjured up memories of his late father, John I. Fountain, with whom he dredged oysters and worked on shrimp boats as a teenager. ``He was a fisherman from the day he was born,'' Fountain said.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.