Local shrimpers dreading Dorian’s impact

Local News

DARIEN, Ga. (WSAV) – Those who make their livings in the waters off the Georgia coast are working hard ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian.

Fishermen in the shrimp industry say the impending storm could blow away profits on the eve of the height of their season. In McIntosh County, shrimp boat captain Brooks Townsend says hurricanes have a negative impact on the shrimping industry.

“We don’t want it to come here…mess us up. This is our best year coming up September and October, is about our best time of the year around for white shrimp, so if this comes in here, it’s gonna mess us up,” Townsend said.

It’s why long-time shrimper Ronel Francis worked crab traps Saturday on the shrimp boat docks in Darien — days before than anticipated arrival of Dorian.

Francis says he’s worked on shrimp boats since he was 14 years old and his experience teaches him hurricanes hit shrimp fishermen in their breadbasket.

“It affects your wallet very bad because when you can’t catch nothing, you don’t make nothing,” Francis said. “So you’ve got to hold onto what you got when you catch something.”

Townsend says hurricanes deliver a one-two punch, knocking the profit out of the shrimp harvest by also sweeping immature shrimp out to sea, meaning a smaller payday for smaller shrimp when they’re caught.

“Catch them bigger…the more money we get so, you know, smaller we get less money,” said Townsend.

There are well over a dozen shrimp boats that use the docks in Darien as their home base.

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