Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Our harbor continues to swarm with out-of-town oyster boats, all stacked on top of the locals. Harbor looks like a mall parking lot, or maybe the way mall parking lots used to look. The problem is a lot of bays up the coast are not in business this season. The situation is noticeable, even to the NYTimes:
When Hurricane Ike slammed into Galveston on Sept. 13 last year, the storm buried nearly 8,000 acres of oyster reefs in sediment from the Bolivar Peninsula, state wildlife officials said. Half of the oyster habitat was wiped out, destroying the livelihood of more than 100 fishing operations.

Read all that here. Taking a living from the water is a hard and unreliable occupation, but I'm grateful that someone continues to do it. Losing our fresh seafood would be losing a good part of the reason to live here. Talk to a shrimper or oysterer, and sooner or later he will get almost poetic about the beauty of the water and the feeling of being in control of their little world when they're working. They cling to their boats and way of life, I have read, in a way that vexes economists, who expect them to abandon their work and find other jobs. I suspect economists don't love their calculations like shrimpers love their bays and boats.

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