Thursday, September 08, 2005

The short answer to the shrimp & oyster fishing industry is that their ain't a whole hell of a lot left. Stay tuned for the story on the economics. For now, an older one:

Courtesy Knight Ridder News:


It is still too early to tell how extensive Hurricane Katrina's damage is to coastal Mississippi's seafood industry. But a search for oyster fishermen in Hancock County's rural Claremont Harbor turned up communities essentially wiped away.

In a scene played out again and again on many streets, just slabs are left on many streets that held homes less than a week ago.

On streets intersecting Lakeshore Road, no debris is left around those slabs, just a few stilts stick out of the ground at odd angles, like daisies with their blossoms snipped. In another area, wooden structures again left no trace of their existence, while cinder block ones fell around their foundations like disassembled Legos.

Cows roamed the deserted roads, set free from their pastures when winds broke fences.

Neighbors said a few of the oystermen took their boats to safe harbor in Bienville, but they were not sure of the outcome.

Katrina's hours of tornado-like winds were enough to scuttle boats in the water and send some a mile or more inland.

In some of the waterways that run parallel to the little streets, the skeletal remains of oyster boats stick straight up out of the water, their bows buried deep in the mud-- tombstones to a deceased fishing community.

Just east of a bridge on Cowan Lorraine Road, many shrimp boats tried to take safe harbor in Bernard Bayou. At least eight ran aground from swelling water and wind. Now they wait for the bridges to open, bridges that stand between them and the Mississippi Sound, where a living shrimp population hopefully still exists.

"We don't know if we'll be able to catch shrimp," said Anh Phan, a Vietnamese shrimper who immigrated here in 1978. Her boat suffered no damage during the storm. "We're so worried."

Dead fish floated at the water's surface, maybe dead from the storm, or the chemicals and diesel that surely made their way into the bayou.

"If storm didn't come, we'd be outside catching shrimp," she said. "We never seen anything big like that ever."


Blogger Kim said...

I have just discovered your blog, and will link to it from mine. Thank you for recording these photos and experiences. God Bless you -- you are in the prayers of countless people. Please let that be known to all the people you are in contact with.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Lizze said...

From the other side of the pond, I (and many more) am hoping that your situation will improve quickly.

I have a question; it seems to be more Police & “Gun-caring officials” then medical help. Is this true?

I realise that law and order needs to be in place and that the media might not give a balance picture of what are going on. But it would be interesting to hear what you think.

Also, an email has done it rounds here in the UK with some amasing pictures of Katrina (got them on my blog) but it feels odd to say this knowing what destruction has been caused by the hurricane.

10:53 AM  
Blogger R2K said...

I know it is serious, but I cant help think of forrest gump when I see that the bayou la batre was hit by the storm.

I would feel more sorry for the industry in the area, but that they are among the group of corporate interests which have overused the wetlands in the area: making this recent damage much worse.

Maybe these people would care more about the environment now.

Probably not...


12:23 PM  
Blogger The Humanity Critic said...

good post. Just passing through, cool blog by the way.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Willy Mesquita said...

I'm worried with United Stares. Living in Brazil but news transmit the happenings. votes...!

1:59 PM  
Blogger KimberlyDi said...

Like alex said, especially since seeing Forrest Gump again this weekend, I keep expecting Bubba Gump Shrimp to go into business and make a bundle.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

my grandmas lives only 1 hour north of Biloxi, so i was pretty worried about her when i heard about this, but fortunately, she was "stuck" in florida when the hurricane hit. it's weird to think that just a few months ago, we were on the gulf coast, playing blackjack and slots in the casinos that have been so hurt from all of this.

4:58 PM  
Blogger NotHughHefner said...


We do have lots of Guard and Police units down here, but what you don't see are the hundreds of medical and service workers staffing shelters and clinics all across LA, MS and AL.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Echo Mouse said...

Have you seen this!!??

11:17 PM  
Blogger zilla said...

I hate to say this, and yet feel a certain responsibility to.

Fish are dead & floating at the surface, most likely because the waters are toxic with diesel fuel and who knows what else.

Shrimp and oysters are bottom-feeders. Even when they're living wild or farmed in relatively cleaner waters, they do accumulate toxins (mercury, lead, pesticides, herbicides, you name it) from bottom feeding and should be eaten in limited amounts.

I eat more seafood than I probably should; I love it.

The current situation would clearly indicate that even if the fishermen could fish, their catch ought to be analyzed for safety before it's sold to consumers. Personally, and quite sadly, I would consider the risk of eating gulf shrimp & oysters not worth it until the numbers prove otherwise.

The devestation of Katrina occurs on so many more levels than we've begun to think about.

We need to be more careful, and more full of care for our fellow man than ever before.

4:51 AM  
Blogger chuck said...

This was such a tragedy. I'm sure American Drive will prevail and everybody will be back up and running well before expected. We have been giving sign holders and donation boxes for donations, from our web site

5:13 AM  
Blogger The Whippy Curly Tails said...

Thanks for all your updates...

I just heard that a physician in the Gulfport is safe & is beginning to rebuild! Please say "hello" to Bharat Sangani M.D. & his staff if you pass their way. They have been in my prayers, along will all affected.

Best of luck with your apartment...stay safe & thanks for your are on my blogroll! =^..^=

6:53 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Love the gulf coast, visited Pass Christian while my brother lived. I will await your rebuild and come visit you folks down there. My brother survived Camile and rebuilt with that incredible spirit of being that exists in your part of our world. Blessings & Peace.

6:56 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

I'm glad I found this blog!

I am in Ocean Springs and have pictures on my blog from the East Beach area. Mine is not as sophistacated as this one...but please visit and feel free Mr. Norman to use the photos for the paper if you need to...

I took all the photos myself..and have over it will be a long time uploading with all that's going on.

visit my blog at:

7:54 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

Just spent a whole morning, up here in Canada's Cap reading your blog. Glad you guys stuck it out and continue to keep the info out there... way more real and compassionate reporting than Hurricane Headquarters CNN's War on Weather. Going to be a long clean up... hope the help is getting there.

8:35 AM  
Blogger momacita said...

i reel for all the displaced people and i also love seafood,you don't think about all the fish and stuff affected too.good luck to the people and god bless.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Lizze said...

The Capitalist:

Good & thanks for the info

2:55 PM  
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