This year was looking like a windfall for Georgia shrimpers. The production of Asian farmed shrimp was down after a bacterial infection swept through Thailand’s ponds. The resulting shortage of imports drove prices up.
“Everybody was looking forward to fall,” said Herbert “Truck” McIver Jr., a McIntosh County shrimper who works on the Sundown. “That’s almost a guarantee. It would’ve been an awesome year with the price. Prices are probably like $1 more (per pound) than last year.”
That’s not how it’s panning out.
Instead of celebrating, Georgia shrimpers are finding so few shrimp they’re planning to petition for disaster status. And they’re looking for answers to what’s devastating the catch from Charleston to Jacksonville, a shrimp disease called black gill.