Few fishermen take part in start of shrimp season

by Brandon Richards bio | email

CAMERON, LA (KPLC-TV) – Monday marked the start of the fall shrimp season in Louisiana, but you'd never know it by looking at the docks in Cameron Parish.

In fact, the vast majority of shrimp vessels in the state never took to the waters on Monday. Some reports said as few as 50 of the state's 5,000 shrimps boats ventured from the docks.

Many shrimpers said they felt uneasy about what they would find. Some reported finding nothing but oil. Many other shrimpers are still working for BP.

In Cameron Parish, some shrimpers set sail early Monday, but they were back on shore after only a couple of hours, mostly empty-handed.

"No one's fishing…first day of the season," said Adley Dyson, a lifelong commercial shrimper in Cameron. "It's unusual for all these boats to be in this of day. Even the channel dragons are in."

Dyson said one reason shrimpers weren't out looking for catch is because there is not a lot of shrimp actually in the water to catch. Dyson said the reason is because many shrimpers from closed fishing areas navigated to the open waters of Cameron Parish after the oil spill.

"We started getting less and less because we had like five states closed all at one time and this was the only area of beach that was opened and all the boats were right here offshore," explained Dyson. "They caught the shrimp before they could come in."

Dyson said it was sad to see all of the shrimp boats docked at Cameron. He said it's a clear sign that despite the fact that the oil has stopped leaking, things are far from normal in Cameron Parish, which is still recovering from recent hurricanes.

"There's a lot of people here that need help," said Dyson. "If we don't survive, how's it going to come back? Cameron was a town founded on fishing and the oil industry…and they're both hurting right now."

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