What once looked like a thriving fishing village will soon look like a destination resort. That's the reality and the complaint coming from shrimpers in Carrabelle, Florida.
The reason is threefold; developers are taking over their village, gas prices continue to skyrocket and imports still flood the market. It's a common complaint we've heard for months, but it's one the state is finally listening to.
One lone shrimp boat remains tied up at what once was called Saunders Seafood, the last of a fleet which used to reel in pounds and pounds of mouth watering Gulf Coast shrimp.
For Tim Saunders, saying goodbye to the shrimping industry is tough to swallow. It's so bad that the state is stepping in. It's launched a $7 million campaign encouraging consumers to buy fresh from Florida shrimp.
Joanne McNeely of the Florida Bureau of Seafood & Aquaculture says, “Our goal is to educate consumers the difference between domestic shrimp and those imported from other countries.”
But is it too little, too late?
For Saunders Seafood it is. Lack of business and competitive imports forced the shrimp house to sell out to developers. Now, the lone soldier is banking on his last shrimp boat to turn a profit for as long as it can.
Tim Saunders will still work for the restaurant he helped build called the Tiki Hut, and says he'll continue to use his last shrimp boat and market the shrimp himself. He says that's what it takes to stay afloat these days.
To help keep the shrimping industry intact the best thing to do is to listen to the state. Look for posters at local grocers or seafood markets, and try Florida shrimp. It tastes so much better than imports, which have been frozen and shipped overseas.