Gulf ‘Dead Zone’ Threatens Acadiana Shrimpers
A growing "dead zone" is raising questions about the future of Louisiana's shrimping industry. KLFY reports shrimpers in Vermilion Bay are catching fewer and smaller shrimp. James Nelson with the biology department at UL Lafayette says the problem stems from agriculture in the midwest. “Every year up in the Midwest they grow lots of crops, lots of grain crops, corn things like that, soy beans. And they put fertilizer on those crops, those fertilizers wash off their crops into the Mississippi weather, it flows down the Mississippi River and out to the Gulf of Mexico.” The chemicals cause oxygen levels to drop in gulf waters, resulting in smaller yields. Shrimping in Louisiana is a 2 billion dollar industry, upon which more than 23,000 jobs depend.