Download Texas Shrimpers: Community, Capitalism, and the Sea by Robert Lee Maril PDF

By Robert Lee Maril

In interviews with fishhouse and dock employees; boat proprietors and marine brokers; other halves, pals, and pals of shrimpers; and the shrimpers themselves, Robert Lee Maril finds the net of social and fiscal relationships that bind Texas shrimpers to their tough and infrequently risky paintings. This publication is set shrimping as an undefined, however it can also be concerning the paintings, the households, the goals, and the frustrations of the lads who capture the shrimp.

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Extra info for Texas Shrimpers: Community, Capitalism, and the Sea

Example text

The try net is immediately tossed over the side and lowered by winch into place.  Not more than five minutes have passed since the try net was boarded.  If he does find some time to catch a little sleep, the header or the captain will check the try net periodically.  As a result, dragging time is, for the rigger, paradoxical: he is constantly waiting, regardless of what other work he may be doing, for hang­ups, yet hoping they will not occur.  If the shrimping is very good, more frequent pickups will be made.

Hang­ups result when the nets during dragging become entangled with a bottom obstruction, with each other, with the boat itself, with some other boat, or with some combination of boat and sea bottom. 2 Obstructions are difficult to locate and are constantly changing; although a captain may avoid 2 See Gary Graham and Jim Buckner, Hangs and Bottom Obstructions of the Texas/Louisiana Gulf: Loran­C. Page 26 all documented ones, as well as those known by him alone from his fishing experiences, an unlucky skipper may drag his boat over a large rock, an old wreck, or mud and, as a result, lose a night or more of fishing.

The demands of the work on board bring about a cooper­ Page 19 ation and equality among the crew that do not reflect the great disparity in their skills, experience, and incomes.  The better the rigger, the more he will earn in the long run.  By tradition, for instance, the rigger is usually the cook.  Assuming no problems develop, the outriggers and doors are left in this position until the end of the trip.  Wooden­ hulled boats are especially susceptible to serious damage by swinging doors, which, in a rough sea, can hit the sides with considerable force.

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