Active hurricane season hurts Gulf Coast seafood industry

BILOXI, Miss. (AP)_The active start to this year's hurricane season has some shrimpers wondering how long they can continue doing business on the Gulf Coast.

Shrimp season off the Mississippi Gulf Coast was already lackluster before Hurricane Dennis sent most of the state's shrimp-boat fleet scurrying to safety.

Some boats still haven't returned to open water and their return could be delayed even further by a new tropical storm gaining strength in the Atlantic.

Richard Gollot, co-owner of a firm that processes shrimp from Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, says the city's shrimp-boat fleet was docked for several days, waiting for a survey of debris in the shipping channel between Biloxi and Pascagoula.

Gollot says the survey had to be complete before a fuel barge could reach the shrimp boats.

Fuel arrived yesterday.

When a storm targets the Gulf, state and federal emergency agencies get first crack at the state's supply of boat fuel, leaving seafood boats high and dry.

Gollot says the local industry loses thousands of dollars each day the fleet remains docked.

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