Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fresh Shrimp, Anyone?

This is looking north from the town docks toward the "working" end. These shrimp boats are all individually owned and operated and are a dying breed due to the high expense of operation. You may not be aware that Fernandina is the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry. In the early part of the last century, a New England fisherman who had relocated to Fernandina came up with the idea to outfit his boat with large fish nets to try to increase the catch of the abundant supply of shrimp in our waters. He was wildly successful and revolutionized the industry. Many of the shrimp that you eat today have been caught in and around our waters.

A child of this innovation was The Burbank Net Company who made and supplied these hand-tied nets for all types of fishing and shrimping boats. As time passed and large corporations began taking over the shrimping industry (by farm-raising shrimp), Burbank branched out and began making nets for soccer and lacrosse goals. The company still supplies a large percentage of those currently in use. The Burbank Net Company continues to operate in Fernandina today and offers tours, if you're interested. And, if you're REALLY interested, here's an interview with Billy Burbank III conducted in 1980.

That is not a shark fin in the water; it's a landing pelican. More about the "Imperial Walkers" in the distance on another day

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