Tag Archives: Fishermen of Coastal Georgia

Jelly Ball Mural, Darien

Cannonball Jellyfish, or jelly balls, which have traditionally been unwanted in shrimpers’ nets, are now an important moneymaker for Georgia fishermen, third only to shrimp and crab as the state’s leading catch. The jelly balls are dried and shipped to Chinese and Japanese markets. In season, you can even take a tour of the Golden Island International processing facility.

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Foggy Morning in Darien

I live near Darien so I’ve photographed the shrimp boats here more times than I can count. With all the challenges facing independent fishermen, I think it’s important to document their presence.

Seeing them in a coastal fog is a totally different experience.

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Shrimp Boats, Valona

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Bringing in Oysters, Darien

Oystermen Bringing in the Days Catch of Oysters Darien River Altamaha Delta Darien GA McIntosh County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2014

Scenes like this are common along the coast, but the independent fisherman is a dying breed. Environmental changes and farm-raised shellfish from Asia are the biggest threat.

 

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Blessing of the Fleet, 2012, Darien

44th Annual Blessing of the Fleet – Darien, Georgia

The Capt. Drew and a host of others await their turns in the parade of shrimp boats which comprise the Blessing of the Fleet.  From the eastern edge of Darien the boats parade toward the US Highway 17 bridge, receive their blessings, and return to the docks, all to the cheers of hundreds of well-wishers.

This tradition has grown into one of Georgia’s most popular festivals, including a weekend-long celebration featuring fine artists, musicians, vendors, and of course, the freshest wild Georgia seafood available. The prices are reasonable, but get your meal before the ceremony. If you wait until afterward, it’s not as likely to be freshly cooked.

I cannot overemphasize my support for the member fishermen of the Wild Georgia Shrimp group. Most people don’t realize that most of the shrimp and other seafood they buy in grocery stores and markets these days is far from fresh, and originates far from Georgia. Chinese and farm-raised shrimp and fish have essentially taken over the U. S. market, but not only is their quality vastly inferior, its availability threatens the very way of life of the men, women and families who make their livings fishing in Georgia’s coastal waters.

If you have the choice, only purchase shrimp branded with the “Wild Georgia Shrimp” logo or look for their decal on restaurant doors and menus. If an establishment doesn’t carry it, ask them why not. Though fresh seafood is always more readily available near the coast, the Wild Georgia Shrimp logo is starting to show up in more and more localities.

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wild-georgia-shrimp-boat-capt-jack-blessing-of-the-fleet-darien-ga-mcintosh-county-atlantic-coast-endangered-way-of-life-picture-image-photo-copyright-brian-brown-photographer-vanishingCaptain Jack

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