Brownsville: Shrimp season starts with shrimp boats lacking workers

The Texas shrimp industry faces an especially daunting challenge this year, a reality echoed in the fierceness of Father Mark Watters’ blessing-of-the-fleet sermon Monday at the Brownsville Shrimp Basin. It was Watters’ 12th year blessing the Brownsville-Port Isabel shrimp fleet, though it’s doubtful he has ever raised the roof like he did Monday with a 25-minute pep talk that started quietly before building to a shouting crescendo, Watters promising the few dozen assembled that “Jesus is in the mountain-moving business.” He didn’t mince words when citing the difficulties the fleet faces this year, namely, a dire shortage of workers from Mexico. The industry is fighting a misperception that it would rather hire Mexican H-2B visa workers than U.S. workers because they’re cheaper, Hance said, though the truth is that finding Americans to crew shrimp boats is practically impossible despite the industry’s best efforts. click here to read the story 12:58