Shrimping, The Last of the Stringos – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official]

Shrimping, The Last of the Stringos – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official]


[boat engine rumbles] [gentle music] [radio chatter] – NARRATOR: Meet
Anthony Stringo. We’re going to try
the ship channel. – NARRATOR: This bay shrimper
calls Port O’Connor home. – ANTHONY: I was born here,
that’s all I’ve ever done. Ya know, Matagorda Bay mainly. – NARRATOR: While Gulf shrimpers
may stay at sea for weeks, bay shrimpers take things
one day at a time. – ANTHONY: This right here is a
new concept for me for the last 10 years. This is called a lazy line. So, you don’t have to pull
the whole thing in to get to the back of it. [clangs] – NARRATOR: A lot has changed
over the decades, and Anthony has had to adapt. His catch now includes
Atlantic Croaker, a fish recreational anglers
like to use for bait. – ANTHONY: Ya know, the
weekenders gotta be here, the people that buy
them got to be here. You can catch all you want, but
if there’s no one to buy them, you’re not going
to make nothing. You want one about that
size for fishing, that right there, put it back. – NARRATOR: While Anthony’s been
shrimping for most of his life, he’s still decades
behind his dad. – ANTHONY: Fifty years I’d say. He’s probably one of the
oldest left out here, might be one or two more
his age left. – One, two, one. See I’m going to reinforce
the edges here. Add another string here
to stay together. – NARRATOR: Jessie Stringo’s 75,
and when he’s not shrimping, he’s mending his nets. – Pilings, tires, just so many
different things! – NARRATOR: The Stringo’s have
been shrimping for generations. Here is Jesse’s dad, Junior, in
Houston Chronicle from 1930. – Oh yeah, he’s the one
that taught me, yeah, down in the 50s. Oh, there was so much damn
shrimp, we didn’t know what to do in them days. – NARRATOR: Those days were
indeed prosperous says Marc Fisher, who’s studied the
shrimping industry for 25 years. – Shrimping in the 1950s,
it was a very good decade. A price of shrimp was very high,
fuel, fuel was cheap, labor was abundant. There was almost no government
regulation back then. If you could work hard
and handle it, it was all for the taking. – JESSIE: Man, there was lots of
shrimp, it kept dwindling down after about 50 years
of working em. – NARRATOR: Yet Jessie
is still out working em. – Ah, what happened! – NARRATOR: His old boat,
The High Roller, rolls along. – JESSIE: You know how it gets
old and everything coming apart. I don’t want to stick
my hands in there. Guide the cables back and forth
like you do a rod and reel. – NARRATOR: Jessie has a new
partner, his brother James, who just sold his
shrimping license. And his boat. – JAMES: Yeah, I was getting too
old to work by myself now, and I just had to give it up! Whew! I’m all right with it. I know I couldn’t do it no more
so I just went ahead and sold everything, boat,
license, everything. – NARRATOR: While there are
300 or so licensed bay shrimpers now. Back in the late 80s,
Gulf and Bay shrimpers were out in force with more
than 5,000 licensed shrimpers on the water. With that much pressure, the
state of Texas started to buy back shrimping licenses. The reason, shrimp nets bring
in much more than just shrimp. – MARK: For every pound of
shrimp that is caught, they also catch four pounds
of other species. These species have no commercial
value, they’re just pitched over the side. That really doesn’t sound that
bad, but when you are talking about 60, 80 million pounds of
shrimp caught every year, that’s a lot of bycatch. We would buy back commercial
shrimp license, and then retire it, which
in turn would reduce the amount of bycatch that
is being caught. – JAMES: Hang on! – NARRATOR: Now James has a
little extra money in his pocket and he and his brother
Jesse can work together. – JESSIE: You ready!? – JAMES: Yeah! – JESSIE: I’d go crazy if I had
to sit home and do nothing. I had one brother retire at 62
and he didn’t make it to 64. – JAMES: That’s sorry! There weren’t to many shrimp,
a few croakers and a few ribbon fish. There wasn’t too much
of nothing. – JESSIE: Agh, wasn’t too much! – NARRATOR: It’s the unknown
that’s the constant concern in this business. – JAMES: You never know there,
ya know. Sometimes you have a good year,
and next year you might not get, ya know, hardly nothing. Always different. It’s not always the same
where you can depend on it all the time. – JESSIE: Ugh, we picked
the wrong place to go to! – JAMES: Get the hell
out of here! – This is it, we’re going home! I’ve had enough bad
luck in one day! – NARRATOR: They can only bet
on a better day tomorrow, as shrimping still pulls
them back to the bay. – Well, if I’m able to work,
I’m gonna work. It’s just no hurry no more. I tell ya just let it
go one step at a time! – ANTHONY: Oh yeah, he still
gets around good for his age and what he does, he’s one
of the last one’s left. Yeah, he’s gonna do it till
he can’t do it no more. [boat engine rumbles] – NARRATOR: Anthony is
out this morning too. – ANTHONY: Sunshine with a
northeast wind. – NARRATOR: They’re starting out
by checking what’s called a try net. – ANTHONY: Agh, we have
the little net down, looking around just to
find the best spot. Where we won’t be dragging
for nothing You’re trying to see
what you can find, and you get an idea. – RICHARD: We have 15, Anthony,
best try so far! You dropping it in? – ANTHONY: Yeah! – RICHARD: We’ll get the jump
chain on this side. – NARRATOR: Anthony grew up out
here, and has literally shrimped Matagorda Bay
since he was a baby. – ANTHONY: They put me in a baby
crib, going out there like we went today. Never done nothing else! – NARRATOR: Back then, and even
now, every day is a gamble. – It’s just the challenge,
cause you don’t know what you are going to catch. You’re liable to get out there,
and make good money today, a thousand dollars today,
and the next two weeks, catch nothing. Like I said, it’s just a
challenge. I love it. – ANTHONY: Looks like shrimp
in there! – RICHARD: Ya love some
shrimp in it! Yah! – NARRATOR: Since these guys are
catching shrimp for use as live bait, it’s a race to get
them back to the bait shop. – RICHARD: More money
this a way. About 10 times as much money. – ANTHONY: Takes more effort
to keep them alive, you gotta have pumps running,
you gotta drag shorter drags. – RICHARD: That was pretty
good for live bait, that was a pretty good drag. Ay-eeee! [laughing] – NARRATOR: Anthony’s made
it back to Port O’Connor and it’s time to unload
today’s catch. – ANTHONY: We’re picking the
croakers out, the Golden ones. – RICHARD: Get the shrimp
out now. – ANTHONY: Yeah! Here, get me a scoop,
I’ll get rid of this one. A little bit more! – ANTHONY: We got, live shrimp
caught, we caught some bait, we got what, almost
40 quarts of shrimp. It’s a little bit,
pay for the fuel. [splash] – NARRATOR: The fresh from the
sea table shrimp is where the money used to be made. – ANTHONY: These are the big
shrimp, we ought a be getting four dollars a pound for
them shrimp right there. But the market’s not there cause
they get so much from overseas, and the farm raised shrimp. – NARRATOR: Foreign farm raised
shrimp operations have taken over. – Aqua cultured shrimp can
they can be raised a much lower price than you can
catch them in the wild. – NARRATOR: Ninety percent of
the shrimp consumed in the U.S. are farmed raised. – MARK: It’s cheaper to grow
them, than it is to catch them. So, the price of shrimp
has actually dropped. The dockside value of shrimp
today is lower than it was in the 1980s. [sighs] – Kinda throws the wind
out of your sails. Yeah, the price of shrimp fell,
people went to go find something else to do ya know. – NARRATOR: The changes leave
Anthony as the last in his family’s business. – You can’t make no more
with it… Ohhh. Unless she has kids and
they want to do it but other than that, yeah! – NARRATOR: And yet after a hard
day of work, in these difficult times, there is
reason for a smile. – Nothing broke, so we don’t
have to fix nothing to go out tomorrow, so that’s a
plus, that’s a real big plus. [majestic music] – NARRATOR: Despite the low
prices, the pounding on the body, the last of the
Stringo’s carries on. – ANTHONY: It’s just habit,
I mean, it’s just something I’ve done all my life. Somebody ever said
you went to college? Yeah, I went to college,
in Matagorda Bay. [boat engine rumbles] – NARRATOR: This project was
funded in part by a grant from the Sport Fish
Restoration Program.

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11 thoughts on “Shrimping, The Last of the Stringos – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official]

  1. It's terrible what the gas oil industry has done to our gulf!!! It'll never recover or be the same!!! Very sad!!!

  2. I always will be a proud stringo i will always treasure my popo memories of him shrimping all of my stringo side of the family love fishing and all that stuff love this vid they made

  3. glad the first guy throws the bigger ones back. was about to be mad if he kept them all for bait

  4. And now this particular ALCOA plant is shutdown, the nice fishing pier in the video is in ruins and the walkway around the marsh that they built is all but totally destroyed by HURRICANE HARVEY in 2017. No one has rebuilt the pier and no one has repaired the walkway to the GAZEBO. Fortunately the beach (which was just recently slightly flooded by minor swells from Hurricane Michael alongside multiple high tides) is still a very popular place for swimmers and campers during the warmer weather as well as the rv park. I am assuming fishing is back to normal from what I see.

  5. they should not allow imported fish or anything else. sell out the people of your own country, now the fishing industri

  6. Y'all boys ever need a hand I'd love to here some stories and put in some work . Just to say I had the opportunity to work on a shrimping boat . Seadrift Texas

  7. I think its extremely sad that TPWD misquotes our by-catch percentage. Our industry has worked hard to improve the percentage from 1 pound to 2.5 pounds (per NMFS). And the narrator simply states that farm raised shrimp is cheaper! THAT'S IT – NOT ONE REASON MENTIONED WHY THE SHRIMP ARE CHEAPER. IT'S AS IF, HE'S SAYING GOOD BY TO THIS INDUSTRY WHEN TPWD COULD HAVE MENTIONED ALL OF THE POSITIVE SUSTAINABLE ACHIEVEMENTS AND THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ATTAINING THOSE ACHIEVEMENTS. AT LEAST MENTIONING THE NEGATIVES OF IMPORTED SHRIMP. BASICALLY HE'S SAYING ADIOS – AND PLEASE GO PURCHASE THAT CHEAPER IMPORTED SHRIMP. GEEZ.

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