End of the line for Louisiana's Vietnamese shrimpers?
On a two-net trawler at the mouth of the Mississippi River, a Vietnamese shrimping crew burns fake money and incense. The captain, Phuoc Nguyen, throws rainbow-colored candies into the brackish bayou water.
"When you make a promise to your ancestors, you have to give back," says his wife, Sandy Nguyen, who comes from a long line of shrimpers in Vietnam.
She and her husband blessed their 65-foot shrimping trawler in Buddhist tradition on a recent Sunday to thank their ancestors for their generosity this year. Louisiana's white shrimp season began two months ago, and the Nguyen family has reason to celebrate: The Lady Hana and her three-man crew hauled in $40,000 worth of shrimp during their latest weeklong trip into the Gulf of Mexico. They can't remember the last time that happened.