Mon., January 6, 2014 3:54pm (EST)

After A Brutal Harvest Season, Shrimpers Ask For Disaster Declaration
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 6 months ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Georgia shrimp harvesters are reporting a poor fall harvest in 2013.  The spring harvest will begin in April.  (photo Orlando Montoya)
Georgia shrimp harvesters are reporting a poor fall harvest in 2013. The spring harvest will begin in April. (photo Orlando Montoya)
Georgia shrimp harvesters say this year's fall season was well below average.

They're asking federal officials to declare a fishery disaster.

That would make them eligible for low-interest loans.

John Wallace of the Georgia Shrimp Association says the poor harvest came when prices are up about a dollar a pound over last year.

"You could have dealt with an average production year with this price and did all right," Wallace says. "But this was the worst I've ever seen."

Wallace says the low shrimp populations kept about 40% of Georgia shrimpers off the water this year.

He blames the poor harvest on this summer's deluge of rain and a shrimp disease.