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HOPEDALE, La. – For watermen across the Gulf Coast, waiting is now a way of life. Waiting to see where the oil slick from the deadly April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig will land. Waiting for crab and shrimp zones to reopen. Waiting to make some money.

With their prime fishing zones closed, some have sought work deploying the plastic booms that are being used to try to corral the giant oil spill. But the demand is limited, and they often are turned away.

Dock owners who buy the seafood are struggling, too.

Darlene Kimball, who owns Kimball’s Seafood in Port Christian, Miss., got only half the shrimp she wanted because people were stocking up. Now she’s having a hard time unloading it. She says everyone thinks it’s contaminated.


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