Gulf of Mexico ~most hazardous fishery TM
Sat, 06 Aug 2011 03:46:27 GMT — Plump Gulf shrimp is sure to please this season. Its trip from the sea to the store, however, is less than desirable. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the Gulf of Mexico is the most dangerous site for commercial fishing. In the last decade, 55 Gulf shrimpers were reportedly killed at sea. "It's a very dangerous job, said Leonardo Leyva , supervisor at Zimco Marine in Brownsville. Shrimping brings big bucks to local shrimpers. It can also bring big medical bills. "I know of people that have fallen into gears and lost legs, arms, said Leyva. Leyva said because so many Gulf of Mexico shrimpers only speak Spanish, their rescues are at risk. A lack of English makes mayday calls almost impossible. "Especially in South Texas, said Leyva. Most of the shrimpers are Spanish speaking, and even though they've been fishing all their lives, they've never been taught what to do in case of an emergency." Leyva will soon be seen in a government funded DVD, teaching shrimping safety in Spanish. The DVD will be distributed in December. Its need becomes clear when speaking to shrimpers like 19-year-old David Hernandez. Hernandez sometimes struggles with English. He embarked on a month long shrimping trip Friday. Leyva said he hopes Hernandez remembers his words of advice. He said they could possibly save a limb or even a life. The U.S. Coast Guard and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler worked together to figure out the most serious threats to shrimping safety. Their research has resulted in the training of over 500 shrimpers in Texas and Louisiana.