OFFICZ O:! CCOXXUTO~ OF ~XKERE
In a colorful ceremony which originated centuries igo in Sritt,any, the
shrimp fishery, largest seafood industry of the south, today vlll observe the
tradition51 blessing of the fleet in Berwick Bay, La. In add.ition to the Zerwick
Bay fleet, fi shing boats from the surrounding sections will come’ in some numbers
to receive the blessings of the clergy as the new shrimp season gets rye11 under
The blessing of the fishing boats probably dates back to the roduct ion at the principal Gulf coast ports in 1944 totaled 8@,671
bnrrels by the end of July, coqared with 117,026 Sarrels durin< t;le s>me period
last year, accor~5ing to figures released by the Office of Coordin,ator of Fisheries
Harold L. I&es,
Canned &r&p will be more scarce tk* for many years, Coorciinntor of
Fisl=eries I&es predicted,
fresh or frozen.
largely beta”use of the trend toward :2?.rlreting shrimp
This year such a stall percentage of the catch is being cnnned
that the pnc!: kill pi robably be the srzllest in at least 25 years,
The shriq fishery is the leadink seafood industry of the south, furnishing
an annual ;~ro&Xtion of about 150,000,000 pounds, ,?yid bringing 2, larger return to
f i s&men than any ot,her fishery product of the a.rep.. &thou,;;21 sbriq are ca.ught
cozgerzielly nil the way from &rth Carolir,a to Texas, about 85 percent of the
yield cones fron the Gulf coast and 66 percent from I.ouisi,ana’ $~one, Texas is
second in shriq production, followed by Georgia, Nississiqi, cold Florida,
The shrimp, a stall, lobsterlike creature, has a short life cycle, probably
not more than two years.
Spawning takes place in ocean waters sane distance from
shore, and the yo~g shriq hatch within the first day after the eggs care
deposited. The baby shrimp develop quite rapidly; rprithin, a very short tiae they
are able to slrirn about and find food. They are carried in by ocean currents to
the coast line, where they enter river estu,aries and bays. By September m,any of
thea have re~heci. cozxercial size, Kost shriq fishing is carried on in bays,
sounds ) xx’. other inside waters. 1 .
In tke !:inter.nost of the .largcr si@pp .mve out to sea ,?gair~ ?J? find,WLU??iGK
water, ~56 1:: t3.e +ring there is a ,,F;encral offshore mOVenei:t of r-h5Ep. The
places &re tl:e iarEe shriq c0rgrep.t e offskore v:ere discover-cd only a few
ye‘ars a720 , 2s ;7~is isna off shore f ishe;;: which now Sri,ngs in sor~e X:,X$ ,000, ~ETCS
‘anIiual ly .
Aitk.ov+qh the boats first used in the offshore fishery l;rere meli and of
litites LL mrz’e the fleet is now co:.qosed
froa 50 .to &‘feet long,
of about PO diesel poem-ed t.rmlers
c,apable of trawliF& from the Xississi-u)~C Ziver to Texas
and as far out as shrimp .are foiuld,
Since LI?.y, 1943, -the ‘construction of rzore than 330 new s1:C:zp tzJ;lers has
been a.uti-*0 rized on the reco.me:-dati.on of tie Office of the Coo~~.i~t5r of
Fisheries, ‘lilm~ the last of these ‘;or:ts are added to the fleck, i$ viii1 cor,sist
of a larper llerceritage of new c7rAd~ 11 eqi;ipL2ed vess,els than ever &fore.
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