Shrimpers: Red tide doesn't affect shrimp

Published On: Aug 14 2012 05:25:56 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 14 2012 07:10:03 PM CDT

Shrimpers are now gearing up for open shrimping season, which starts Wednesday. This comes after the state health department just shutdown shellfish harvesting.

"That's Mother Nature," Houstonian Keith Thayer said. "It comes and goes. I may have been reasonably concerned but not terribly anxious. We've lived here a long while and things work out."

The Hillman family has been getting plenty of calls from confused seafood eaters after the state health department closed all oyster, clam and mussel harvesting in Galveston Bay.

"I appreciate y'all coming out, because it truly does not affect the shrimp," said JoAnn Morris of Hillman's Original Fish House.

Shrimpers like Phu Nguyen are getting their boats ready, since red tide only affects oysters, clams and mussels.

"It's good," said  Nguyen. "We go every day for shrimp. It's good."

If by chance you ate an oyster, clam or mussel infected with red tide, you could experience shellfish poisoning. The symptoms are:

However, symptoms should go away within 24 hours.

For beachgoers, red tide can irritate your eyes, nose and throat if you breath it. If you suffer from breathing problems, your symptoms could be much worse.