Net to Net: shrimpers savvy on the Web

by Mary Tutwiler

Stocking up on fresh Gulf seafood is on everyone's minds these days, and the town of Delcambre has just made it a lot easier. A new internet marketing Web site, allows potential customers to sign up for emails detailing when shrimp boats are coming back to port. The email will include info on what each boat has on board - shrimp, crabs, fish - and what time the boat is expected to dock. Customers meet the boat dockside and buy directly from the shrimpers.

The Web site was one of the ideas born out of the wreckage of Hurricane Rita, five years ago. The irony escapes no one that the new crisis in the Gulf offers as great a threat to the livelihood of shrimpers as falling shrimp prices, high diesel costs, imported shrimp and hurricanes. For the moment, Louisiana waters closed to fishing extend from the easternmost tip of the state to Pointe au Fer in St. Mary Parish, with the exception of the waterways around Grand Isle.

That means Vermilion Bay, Atchafalaya Bay and the waters to the west are still open for Acadiana's fishing and shrimping fleet. Shrimpers are out, trying to make as much money as they can in the face of the uncertainty of the growing oil spill. It's a good time to support our local seafood industry and at the same time, stock your freezer for whatever is to come.