Slow growing shrimp slow down shrimpers as season opens

Shrimpseason is open along the Alabama coast, but some waters remain off limitsbecause the cool, wet spring made shrimp grow slower than normal.

Officialssaid Wednesday that additional areas would be opened to boats once studies showthat shrimp have reached maturity.

More thana dozen boats pulled nets Wednesday in the waters off Dauphin Island and inlower Mobile Bay. Brown shrimp season opened Tuesday in some areas that hadbeen closed.

ChrisBlankenship of Alabama Marine Resources says additional shrimping areas willopen later.

Boatscatch more than 25 million pounds of shrimp annually in Alabama, making it thestate's top seafood crop.