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Low prices make it tough to survive

Same old story for shrimpers

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — Shrimp season opened in state waters June 10 to what might be called “the same old story.” While early indications are that there will be a good shrimp catch this year, competition from cheap foreign imports has depressed prices and made it difficult for shrimpers to be profitable.

“Shrimp have not gone up in price much compared to what they were 25 years ago,” said Mike Brainard, shrimp and crab program coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. “Compared to other commodities, they are way behind.”

About 1,067 shrimp boats were counted on opening day, which was up more than 200 from 2002 when stormy weather had an impact.

Experts estimate that low prices combined with increasing expenses for fuel, ice and maintenance mean that the average shrimper has to spend 97


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