Shrimp Fleet blessed at annual event

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Fishermen here participated in the 79th annual Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet parade Sunday in anticipation of this week’s season opening.

In a ceremony that lasted less than 30 minutes, Bishop Thomas J. Rodi blessed boat after boat.

Some fishermen who participated in previous years did not attend the event, leaving a smaller fleet to be blessed. The currently open Louisiana shrimp season has lured a lot of Mississippi fishermen wanting to get a jump on their own season that opens Wednesday, say experienced observers.

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Hoai Nguyen, of Biloxi, is helping his fisherman father for a few weeks before beginning his last year of studies at Ole Miss. Nguyen suggested the blessing occur before any shrimp seasons open so all boats can participate.

“You don’t see the big boats here. They are all out there working,” he said.