Another threat to our fishing industry has appeared in the Gulf of Mexico but it is still a question mark as to how destructive it could be. Joining the BP oil spill and dead zones along the Louisiana coast as that threat is the invasion of Asian tiger shrimp. They could eat up a big portion of our locally-developed commercial shrimp that support many local families during our regular shrimp seasons.
The tiger shrimp are blown-up versions of our native shrimp, weighing up to one pound and stretching up to 13 inches long. They have dark and white stripes encircling their bodies from whence they got their name. They reportedly originally came from the western Pacific Ocean and have been in U. S. waters for two decades. According to an article by Rick Jervis in USA Today, they could have spawned from a batch that escaped a lab two decades ago or immigrated here in the ballast water of ocean-crossing ships.
More than 300 were seen in the Gulf last year, up from some 32 in 2010 and only six in 2006, according to the U. S. Geological Survey.
The big shrimp are cannibals and can gobble up our local variety which are miniature in comparison at no more than one-tenth of a pound. Their good side is that they can be eaten too, like our native variety. They are said to be tasty with lemon and garlic butter, yum.
But we canít take their presence too lightly until we know how much of our commercial shrimp catches they can eat up and if their replacement on our dinner tables makes them worthy of a trade.
And, actually, it is hard to envision them as one of the tasty ingredients of ourshrimp jambalayas.
Americans will have few decisions to make in how to vote in the coming Presidential election. If they are liberal, voters will vote the Democratic ticket and if conservative they will go Republican.
Of course, that is the way it usually goes. This time, some Republicans could question the selection of Mitt Romney, a somewhat middle-of-the-roader, for President but when he put conservative Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on his ticket as Vice President, that made his ticket conservative friendly. And with Barack Obama and Joe Biden on the other side, that cinched the deal.
So the campaign should provide us with a big lesson on what type government is better for our democracy. Do we want one in which the government plays a major part in directing the way we live or do we want free enterprise with government more in a standby mode making sure the people are free to enjoy the liberties our constitution prescribes.
We look forward to a healthy exchange of views during the campaign and a serious consideration by the people of what is best for our nation. And may the best system win.