Gordon Wright took me out with Derek Wainwright, and Wright’s sixteen-year-old grandson, Drew Wright, to photograph shell planting. Basically, oystermen like Gordon are paid to take boat-loads of oyster shells to a designated area and dump them into the Gulf to build up reefs where oysters can grow. It’s a sustainability thing. Almost 200 small boats anchor, sometimes for hours, near a barge of shells to pick up their load. The cool thing to me was that all this waiting gave the oystermen plenty of chance to shoot the breeze out there on the open water. It was a neat glimpse into what life is like for these commercial fishermen, and it is exactly why I love my job.
I am still (always) looking for tips/contacts/information about anything cool that might relate to my study of the Bayou La Batre seafood industry. I would love to hear from anybody with good ideas…or anybody who has stories to share. Please get in touch!