As in many commercial fishing communities along America’s coastline, the coastal shrimping town of Biloxi, MS practices the tradition of an annual Blessing of the Fleet. Biloxi’s been doing this since 1929 although the history of the local seafood industry extends into the late 1800s. Back then, the seafood processing work, and later the fishing itself, was performed by thousands of Catholic immigrants from Yugoslavia as well as Cajuns from Louisiana.  Today, most of the shrimp boats are owned and operated by Vietnamese immigrants. The blessing, given by the local Catholic priest and bishop, marks the start of the shrimping season in Biloxi. Continue reading