Harried shrimpers pessimistic as Gulf season opens

Capt. Trey Branch and deckhand Cliff Dunn were at work Tuesday morning at a Hillman’s Seafood & Fish House dock preparing the shrimp boat Capt. Hunter for the opening Saturday of Gulf shrimp season. Dunn and Branch are lifelong shrimpers, from generations of shrimpers. Once, the days just before the boats took to Gulf waters after shrimp were a time of hard work and keen anticipation of profits to make it all worthwhile. Not so much any more, the shrimpers said. The hard work is still there, but profits have plummeted in part because of cheaper, farm-raised foreign shrimp flooding the market and higher operating costs driven by inflation, especially in fuel prices. 5 photos, >click to read< 20;47

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