by Hunter Dawkins & Hannah Allen

Tuesday morning’s monthly meeting of the Mississippi Commission of Marine Resources (CMR) was not filled with many details.  After the discussion of the mortality rate on oysters, shrimp and crabs, CMR heard a few public comments requesting the early opening of shrimp season due to the adverse effects from the second opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

Following this outcry, the CMR unanimously approved the opening of the shrimp season under the Mississippi Code Authority with an emergency declaration for Thursday.

“We are pleased with the Commission’s decision to open the 2019 Mississippi shrimp season citing their authority in Miss. Code 49-15-64.1 (2) that state’s ‘If a natural or man-made disaster has the potential of adversely affecting the shrimp fishery, the commission, by majority vote, may open legal shrimping areas,” said Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, Inc. Executive Director Ryan Bradley.

This proposal should help the shrimp industry mitigate the adverse impact to the fishery, although the season doesn’t appear to be very productive for long this year.

“We are seeing very low numbers of brown shrimp this year due to the Bonnet Carré Spillway disaster,” expressed Bradley in his statement to the board.  “There is a few large white shrimp around that can tolerate the low salinity levels.”

The city of Pass Christian will host the annual Blessing of the Fleet to honor the opening of the shrimp season, but this will happen Sunday.  More details to the Commission meeting will be provided in Friday’s edition.