Tag Archives: Bayou La Batre

Land & Sea: Wooden vs. Steel Longliners – Take a trip back in time with an archival episode from 1980

This 1980 episode of Land & Sea opens with the scene of a champagne bottle exploding on the bow of a new longliner. The show explores the tension surrounding wooden and steel-hulled longliners at a time when boatbuilding design was evolving to match new fishing technology. Owner Charles Hussey of Port de Grave isn’t bothered by the $500,000 price tag for his new, wooden, 17-metre vessel, the Eastern Harvester, built in Arthur Petten’s boat yard in South River.,,, The Land & Sea crew went south in this episode to Bayou la Batre, the headquarters for steel-hulled boat building. Video, click here to read the story 20:31

Shrimp net-making is still alive in Bayou La Batre

Steve Sprinkle still makes his shrimp nets in Bayou La Batre by hand, an art that has all but disappeared from the American scene. His small shop is full of character and age-old bits and pieces of what is needed for the ancient craft. Inside, you might spot Sprinkle seated and driving needles around green string over and over. Some things have to be made by hand if they are to stand the test of time and the test of the rough, deep Gulf. “It started in the early 1900s when rowboats would drop a net and catch shrimp; then they came out with combustion engines and started towing the net through the water to pick up the shrimp,” Sprinkle said. “My family was on Dauphin Island over 200 years ago. My great-grandfather would shrimp on his own feet wading in the water and pulling a net with his hands.” More images, video, read the rest here 08:50