Will oil spill impact local shrimpers?

Valley shrimpers told Action 4 News they will be slightly affected by the oil spill off the Louisiana coast.

One of them, Alfonso Martinez, worked hard to get his boat ready to head out to the Gulf in the next few weeks.

He said he is a little concerned about the spill, "Right now things are slow, but hopefully they take care of it."

His worry is that the spill will affect their catch.

He said it has already been tough for shrimpers in the past few years because of competition from cheap imports and farm raised shrimp.

To him, the business is very different from when he started 25 years ago.

"If the spill keeps us from going out who TMs gonna take care of us, he said.

His boss, Carlton Reyes, is slightly concerned.

Even though, they make most profit later in the year, the spill does affect them now. "We have a Texas closure on May 15 that runs through July 15, he said. During the Texas closure we go fish to the Louisiana coast."

At present time, Reyes has three shrimping boats out in that part of the Gulf.

He said he is paying careful attention to the spill. He wants to make sure it does not move West to where his boats are at now.

"Remember now that it might take 60-90 days to get that thing capped off, he added. You know anything can happen in that time."

That anything, he fears, can be a storm or hurricane.

While he gets his boats ready to head out, Reyes said the effects on consumers won TMt come right away.

"The prices might go up. I dont know how much the price of shrimp will go up. It all depends on the amount that we catch during the Texas open."

Until then, both Reyes and Rodriguez will continue working. It is now a waiting game.