Ron Mayhew's Blog

"It's the image"
Shrimp Boats, Ft Myers photos


  1. maamej

    Beautiful pics but a very sad story. I love prawns (shrimp) but rarely eat them because I can’t always be sure where they’re from. Between the damage the farming causes, & the fact they are being over-fished in the wild as well, they’re mostly off the menu for me unless they’re labelled as sustainably produced, as is a whole lot of other seafood. In Australia the Marine Conservation Society produces a guide to sustainable seafood. sadly, they can’t give the green stamp of approval to much of it at all.

  2. rbish

    Great story Ron. I too love photographing boats of all kinds. While in Foley Alabama last year I went down to the docks and bought some fresh shrimp, Delious. I also went back later when the light changed to get a few shots of some glorious old Shrimpers. Yes, they too were in declining condition but still serving their crews well.

  3. mariadesuede

    This is happening all over the world, like here on the French west coast, same thing. A lot of these people who used to live on fishing lost everything; too bad, an old tradition is almost lost. Great photos !

  4. Sophie L.

    Great image, it let me think about the fishing shrimp boat from Forrest jump (oh I just read now the words on the wall haha!!!)
    Have a nice sunday 🙂

  5. Tina Schell

    Great choice for the challenge Ron. We have shrimpers at home too and it’s really a dying breed. High costs to run and maintain the boats, low prices on the shrimp because of foreign competition. Really sad. I did a post on it a while back myself. Your photos are gorgeous as always!

    • fotograffer

      You are exactly right. We feel fortunate to be able to get local seafood, but for how long? I’ll check on your post. Thanks for your comment and enjoy the rest of your road trip.

  6. Dalo 2013

    Great set of photos…beautiful description of a way of life that is disappearing. Reminded me when I was a teenager going out on a gill-netting boat fishing one night and I told my Dad this is what I would like to do for the rest of my life…before understanding that the economics would never allow that to happen (small fishing fleets in Oregon are always going under). These shots really brought all that back. You capture so much of the hardship, but hearty life of the people who rely on water and the sea. Well done Ron.

    • fotograffer

      There is a romanticism to that way of life, isn’t there? It is a concern that the world’s fisheries are being depleted making it all the more difficult for these guys to make it. Thanks for your encouragement Randall.

  7. catbirdinamerica

    It’s sad to witness the demise of shrimping in the country, but what a great photo opportunity. These photos are amazing. I always love seeing ruins in photos. I wonder why that is?

    • fotograffer

      Struggling, yes and surviving, perhaps one smaller scale much like organic farming. We are fortunate to live in a area where fresh wild caught seafood is available and that is all we ewill eat.

      I would like to spend some time with shrimper interviewing and documenting their work and lives and ultimately publishing a coffee table book. Would you be able to help me with some contacts?

  8. George

    Unfortunately farm raised shrimp dominate the seafood market in restaurants even here in eastern NC where shrimping is alive (but not well). I was raised by commercial fishermen to be s fishermen but chose a different path in my early 20’s. It’s a rough life and will make you old before your years. I put in a few years on these boats. There’s no question that farm raised shrimp are no comparison to what is caught in our coastal waters. Support your fishermen and buy local shrimp if possible!

    • fotograffer

      Many years ago I did some recreational shrimping with a 16 foot Simmons Sea Skiff in the sounds around Wilmington. Some of the best days of my life and I still miss it. Times are rough for commercial fishermen and will continue to be with the pressure from farm raised and imported seafood.

  9. Janie Baskette

    My brother was a shrimp boat captain at Ft. Myers Beach. He drowned there one night at the dock getting his boat ready to go out the next day. He truly loved fishing.


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