troubled waters

Bayou La Batre is a fishing village. Seafood is its heritage. Located near the Gulf of Mexico, just off the mouth of Mobile Bay, it is a stop-over and a home port for fishing vessels that trawl the nearby waters and from Texas all the way up the Atlantic coast of Florida.

Mobile Bay itself is teeming with wild white and brown shrimp, oysters and fish, but the influx of farm-raised imported shrimp has crippled the local shrimping industry. The fleet at Bayou La Batre is on the decline. Shrimpers are struggling against their competition, fuel prices, and a deepening economic depression that could slow demand for wild-caught American shrimp even further. Local oystermen have suffered from steep declines in the local populations after multi-year draught raised salinity in local waters, allowing the rise of the Florida rock snail—a predator.