Oil from the huge spill in the Gulf of Mexico has yet to wash up on Alabama's coast, but it already is damaging the state's dockside seafood industry.
Scores of shrimp boats sat at dock Monday in Bayou La Batre, their crews unable to work because of a 10-day ban on Gulf fishing in areas near the spill. But the spill was still at a distance from the Alabama coast, and some shrimpers and commercial fishermen were able to continue working waters within 20 miles of the coast.
Seafood industry officials said many of Bayou La Batre's 2,300 residents work in some 70 seafood-related businesses. And when seafood work ceases in Mississippi or Louisiana, it puts a squeeze on the bayou's work force.