White shrimp season opens

GOLDEN MEADOW (AP) — Shrimpers across south Louisiana say they are ready for the start of the white shrimp season.

About 60 percent of the shrimp harvested in the U.S. comes from the Gulf of Mexico. The total domestic shrimp harvest brought in $518 million in 2011.

The season officially opened up at 6 a.m. Monday on the inside waters of the western shore of the Atchafalaya River. The season east of the river was set to open at 6 p.m.

Federal data indicates that about 26.1 million pounds of shrimp were caught in Louisiana between January and May.

Kim Chauvin and her husband, David, own Mariah Jade Seafood Co. and David Chauvin Seafood Co. in Terrebonne. After an “average” brown shrimp season, Chauvin said she’s hopeful for a good inshore white shrimp season.

“You never truly know until the first day you go out and you get the wind of what’s going on,” she said of the season’s prospects. “You hear tidbits about how the season is going to be good, or how it’s bad, but you never know until they actually go out there.”

Shrimp season can make or break the year financially for shrimpers.

“That’s what we do. That’s our livelihood. That’s what we wait for,” said Lillie Bishop of Martin’s Fresh Shrimp in Chauvin.

Chauvin said her company will sell some of the fresh catch and freeze the rest to get through the winter months.

Patience is key in the shrimping business, Bishop said.

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