Bayou La Batre's primary economic focus is fishing and includes a sea port and seafood processing harbor for fishing boats. The area is also known for large amounts of shipbuilding, specifically seafood-oriented vessels. In 2005, Disney Studios contracted the building of the ship the Black Pearl for use in Disney's The Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.
Bayou La Batre was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage to the facilities used for seafood processing and other areas of fishing commerce, including the many boats of the area (the boats were damaged by being pushed ashore, often landing on buildings and in treetops).
Bayou La Batre is referenced in the movie Forrest Gump as being Forrest's Army friend's ("Bubba") hometown. When Forrest becomes a shrimp boat captain, Bayou La Batre becomes his hometown.
As a result of the seafood industry, the smell of Bayou La Batre's air is often unbearable. Mixed with the swampy terrain, Bayou La Batre holds a distinct, repulsive odor. (See Bayou Barking Spider.
Note on pronunciation: The locals (and those familiar with the area) pronounce "Bayou La Batre" as "Balla Batree". The correct pronunciation is the articulated "Bayou La Batree"; however, most refer to it as simply "The Bayou".
"Mom, we're in Bayou La Batre..."