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Gulf fishermen, staggered, head back to sea

Capt. Joe Norman and his crew had just arrived after a 12-hour sail from the Lake Borgne area on the North Shore. His shrimp boat, the Carla Ann, is new this season. Other shrimpers have said that since returning to work after the disastrous oil spill, the catch has been good.

Norman said he spent the summer crabbing in lakes Borgne and Pontchartrain. But because initially only a small area of waters was open to crabbing, prices were driven sky high; then when more areas opened, crab prices fell drastically.

"No one wanted the crabs," Norman said.

In the end, he said he was stuck with dozens of unsold crab traps, and wound up paying his deckhand even while he didn't make any money himself for the season.

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