74th Annual Celebration of the Fleet Makes Fishermen Look Forward to the Next Harvest Season – WKRG News 5
BAYOU LA BATTLE, Alabama (WKRG) — Crowds line the docks of Bayou La Battle for the annual celebration of the 74th Fleet. Today, a fisherman is hoping this year’s bounty will bring a turnaround to his oyster business.
Parades led by Alma Bryant High School’s marching band and diving into the now-famous Bayou La Batlet are all part of the tradition. This tradition dates back to European fishing communities, where fishermen sought blessings to ensure good catches.
Fishermen such as Alden Bosarge, who owns Gunstock Bay Oysters in Corden, say tradition means a lot to the oyster harvester.
“I just want to congratulate them all,” Bossage explained. “I want everything to work well. No problems. No mechanical issues. Just a good blessing.”
During the final harvest, Bosarge said: It is one of many affected when the Alabama Department of Marine Resources closed the reef last year..
“We have now dealt with the reef being closed for a long time,” said Bossage. “Within the last four years, reefs have opened up and finally all the oysters have been allowed outside, but they keep us tied up tight. Closing out, it’s not a very good year for us yet.”
Archbishop Thomas Lodi led the prayer and blessed the water on Saturday afternoon, explaining that the water can be dangerous for fishermen.
“These people bring us great seafood,” said Archbishop Lodi. It’s not just food, it’s a blessing for all of us.”
Bosarge hopes to catch more oysters this harvest season.
“I hope we have a longer season this year,” Bossage said. “There are so many oysters out there that no one can catch them.”
https://www.wkrg.com/top-stories/74th-annual-blessing-of-the-fleet-has-fishermen-hopeful-for-upcoming-harvesting-season/ 74th Annual Celebration of the Fleet Makes Fishermen Look Forward to the Next Harvest Season – WKRG News 5