Take a peek at a life on a shrimp boat.
The Candy M is a steeled-hulled bay shrimper from Ingelside, Texas, and represents both the culmination and decline of a 230 year-old tradition along the Gulf Coast.
Shrimp boats in the Gulf of Mexico operate either in the open gulf or in the bays. Ranging over wide geographic areas, "Gulf" shrimpers often remain at sea for several days. Inshore shrimpers ("bay" shrimpers) net either high-quality shrimp or bait shrimp and return home each day with their catch.
Until the 1920s, shrimping and other fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico remained small, with fairly minor impacts on marine ecosystems. Improved technologies, including refrigerating and canning catches, resulted in engines replacing sails and trawls replacing muscles.
Originally considered unmarketable catch, shrimp developed a reputation as high-class seafood.
Altogether, bay shrimpers in the Gulf of Mexico sell about 13 million pounds of white shrimp each year worth an estimated $20 million.
During the spring season, each boat crew can dock up to 600 pounds of catch per day and work from dawn until 2 p.m. In the autumn, they can net catch all day long; winter season allows night shrimping in some areas.
Except for bait shrimping in designated bays, summer shrimping is prohibited.