We are all children of the bayou

The video gives a glimpse into the lives of shrimp fishers post-BP disaster. The fisherfolk of the bayou provide shrimp, oysters and crabs for the entire country. We are what we eat, and so to some extent we are all offspring of the bayou. The chart below gives a picture of the troubled industry.

SHRIMP-4 The Son of the Bayou, Torn over the shrimping life is the story of Aaron Greco and the shaky existence of wild shrimp "farmers" in southern Louisiana. The photo is of Aaron with his girlfriend, Melanie Fink, 17, after a long day of shrimping. They lean against his prized yellow Mustang last fall outside their favorite ice cream shop in Chalmette, La.

I highly recommend Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast. In this inspiring book by Mike Tidwell, you will get to know and appreciate the Cajun people supplying a significant portion of our food. (Interview with Mike about Bayou Farewell) The accounts of once-solid land and wetlands rapidly turning into open water (25-30 square miles a year!) is astounding. Part of the United States is subsiding into the vast Gulf of Mexico every day. 

The following are my reflections from my trip to the area in October.

The Far End of the World

By Andrew Kang Bartlett | October 20, 2010

Evan pointed to fishing hamlets on the map he had brought of southeastern Louisiana. Only there were no names. “The town is about here,” Evan explained. “And while this surrounding area looks like land on the map, now it is all water.”

“You mean like swampy wetlands with tall grasses?” I ask.

“No. Open water as far as you can see. The road disappears right about here. It has eroded along with the land as the sea water comes in farther and kills the grasses and the roots that had kept the soil.”