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Lousiana Fishing Communities Look Into The Abyss - Dallas Morning News

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:23 PM
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Lousiana Fishing Communities Look Into The Abyss - Dallas Morning News
DELCAMBRE, La. Shrimp boats bob in the sun-dappled canal, pretty as a tourist postcard, but the quaint scene is all that looks remotely normal in this Cajun fishing village sometimes billed as the "shrimp capital of Louisiana." Every buyer and icehouse, boatyard and fuel vendor is covered with 4 feet of oil-slicked swamp water. Tons of seafood rot in dockside brokerages, and nearby homes of captains and crew alike are awash in a storm surge that Hurricane Rita sent farther inland than any that people here can remember.

"The loss is in the millions, just in this little canal," said Preston Dore, a shrimper who shepherded his 70-foot trawler through Rita, only to watch helplessly as his dockside restaurant and seafood brokerage were inundated by the storm surge. "I've got more than $100,000 in product spoiled in that market," he said, nodding toward his waterlogged business, A-Seafood Express. "I'd say the industry is ruined in this state right now."

Fishermen and state officials fear that last weekend's storm may have dealt a mortal blow to Louisiana's $2.6 billion-a-year seafood industry, which had already been reeling from Hurricane Katrina. Losses from both storms could reach more than $2 billion. That has heightened uncertainty about the future of an industry that provides nearly 30,000 jobs and lands almost half of the shrimp, 26 percent of the crabs and 37 percent of the oysters caught in the United States.

Katrina slammed into southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi on Aug. 29, smothering oyster beds, scuttling fishing fleets and wrecking vibrant melting-pot communities where coaxing a living from the sea has long been part of the culture. Then Rita swamped coastal areas of southwestern Louisiana that had escaped Katrina. "Rita took that one little last place you could actually still work if your boat survived," said George Barasich, a Chalmette shrimper and oysterman who has organized a fisherman's relief group to lobby for federal aid."

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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:37 PM
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1. I am having a very hard time
wrapping my mind around what has actually happened as a result of these two storms. Loss of homes, loss of jobs, loss of resources. And I don't think we have seen the half of what effect this is going to have on the economy, not just the oil and gas part of it. Unreal. Just unreal.
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