June 23, 2009
After an unexpected delay, Long Beach shrimper Tim Harrison plans to head north to dock in Columbus for three months as early as this Saturday.
While here, he and his crew will promote Mississippi seafood -- and sell some, too -- aboard his 35-ton, 62-foot shrimp boat, the Bella Mia.
He did not come up in May, as he was hoping to, because the shrimping season did not open when it usually does in early June. It will start Thursday for all waters south of the Intracoastal Waterway, according to the state''s Department of Marine Resources.
"We''ve just been waiting on this date, and now we got it," he said by phone on Monday.
He will choose a date of departure later this week.
He wants to make the trip to Columbus -- among other places where he will dock along the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway -- to expose people to the state''s "incredible seafood industry," which is "just being demolished by imported shrimp," he said in a conversation last week, when he was unsure if this year''s shrimping season would ever begin.
The journey to Columbus will take 75 hours and require 800 gallons of diesel fuel, he said.
Once here, he will determine where to dock, based on water depth and proximity to publicly accessible land. "I got 50-foot outriggers," he said. "It ain''t like you can just pull the thing anywhere."
Of the docking sites he has considered, he is most excited about the Columbus Riverwalk, because people frequent it on foot.
He expects to sell the shrimp at $4.99 a pound with 26 to 30 shrimp per pound, down from his February estimate of $6.50 a pound for 10-15 shrimp. "That''s what you can come down here and get them off the boat for," he said. "People''s gonna flip when they see."
kay commented at 6/23/2009 11:59:00 AM:
I have been waiting for this guy to come back. Yay! Fresh shrimp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
JC commented at 6/23/2009 4:55:00 PM:
Gulf shrimp are THE BEST. Imports can't touch 'em. Good luck, Mr. Harrison!
chefgurrl commented at 6/23/2009 11:41:00 PM:
I'm confused. If he is docked in Columbus for three months, where is the "fresh" shrimp coming from? How is it getting to his boat? How frequently will it be delivered?
The Capt . commented at 6/26/2009 12:12:00 AM:
Dear "confused" With all due respect they have no problem bringing shrimp 4000 miles over the ocean from Thailand and other foreign countries delivered promptly to the local restaurants and retail stores complete with illegal antibiotics and no telling what else on them.
Douglas commented at 7/9/2009 7:41:00 AM:
I would much rather a Fresh Shrimp that was "sleeping in the Gulf last night" than a raised in Thailand Shrimp, frozen for who knows how long,shipped over the Pacific, trucked in from California, and sold in local restaurants or retailers. I applaud the shrimper for having enough will power to give it a try instead of crying in his beer waiting for someone to bail him out. He's not only keeping Americans working, he's also sharing information with the people along the river showing what it is to be a Mississippi Shrimper, and what it is to pull yourself up by the boot straps and make it happen!! The world needs more people like Mr. Harrison!! I hope he gets the support from the locals on this venture!
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