National

Aug 16, 2010 8:02 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Shrimpers cross fingers as they head into the Gulf

Louisiana shrimpers have more than the usual worries as they hit the water today for the opening of shrimp season.

Besides concerns over how much they'll catch and what they'll get for it, there's anxiety about how much damage the shrimp population has truly suffered from the lengthy oil spill, and how other shrimpers might react. Perhaps the biggest fear is that some fisherman might try to sell oil-contaminated shrimp.

One shrimper says they've got enough trouble now without someone putting tainted product on the market. But he believes most of his fellow shrimpers know better.

Even as the season begins, shrimping remains forbidden in federal waters off Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

A federal fisheries official says most of the catches have come off Texas and Florida.

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