Ga. shrimping season among worst in decades

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — One of the worst shrimp seasons in decades has Smith & Sons Seafood owner Walker “Big John” Smith Jr. fearing what will happen if his business has to suffer through another year like 2013.

Smith has been working in the shrimping industry 23 years, and says his family-owned company, which was started in Brunswick and moved to Darien in 1955, has never seen a season this bad in all its years of operation.

The company’s McIntosh County facility saw an 80 percent drop in the shrimp harvest this season, which amounts to about $10 million in lost revenue.

“We can’t take many hits like this again,” Smith said. “We’re able to handle some hits, but this is the biggest.”

The Georgia shrimp industry suffered from a low population of shrimp last season, which is being attributed to black gill disease, which does not affect humans, and an influx of fresh water in the estuary after a rainy summer.

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