Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the Gulf of Mexico, a new menace, this one striped like a big cat, is preying on aquatic life: The black tiger shrimp.
The biggest saltwater shrimp in the world, black tigers “are cannibalistic as are other shrimp but it’s larger so it can consume the others,” Tony Reisinger, country extension agent for the Texas Sea Grant Extension Service, told CNN on Friday.
Because of the threat of disease, the predatory intruder poses a problem for the native shrimp and oyster population of the Gulf, Reisinger said.
Read Giant cannibal shrimp worry Gulf Coast watchers
With Monday's start of the fall shrimping season came new worries about the Gulf of Mexico's seafood and the industry's ability to lure not only business but fishermen back in the water.
For the past few months, BP contracted with thousands of fishermen to help with the cleanup of oil from the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig. But officials said Monday that many fishermen had yet to jump back in the water to resume their livelihoods.
"Right now, part of our challenge is to get the shrimpers back in the water," said Harlon Pearce, chairman of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. "A lot of them are working for BP, and we're having trouble getting them back in the shrimping business."
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