2019-20 Shrimp Season Begins in Gulf of Mexico

The Rev. Mark Waters sprays holy water on trawlers docked at the Brownsville Shrimp Basin. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

The 2019-20 shrimp season began Monday and industry representatives are expressing optimism even though a government forecast is predicting a below average season.

Trawling for brown shrimp in waters of the Mexican Gulf is a livelihood for hundreds, if not thousands, of people and good catches translates into good revenues and income for those who work on the boats.

But before the trawlers docked at the Brownsville Shrimp Basin take off, the fleet gets blessed to wish them good luck and to have a safe season.

Mark Waters, a Canadian clergyman, who has been blessing the fleet for the last 14 years said 2019 is God’s favorite year.

After a long sermon, Waters, reporters, photographers, shrimpers hopped on a trawler on a nearly hour trip around the basin where crews could be seen busily preparing the boats for the new journey into gulf waters.

As the trawler made its way around, Waters sprayed holy waters saying, “Good luck and bountiful season.”

Carlton Reyes, vice president of the Brownsville/Port Isabel Shrimper Association, said the forecast calls for a below average season, adding that is just a prediction.

Jorge Gonzalez, owner of several shrimp boats, said he doesn’t follow the forecast.

“You never know until you start getting the reports,” he said. “Get back with me in December and I will tell you how the season went.”

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