A crabber from Louisiana checking the sizes of crabs. (Photo: louisianaseafoodnews)
Louisiana's crab sector struggles post-Hurricane Isaac
Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 00:50 (GMT + 9)
Hurricane Isaac hit Louisiana crab fishers hard and sunken boats, damaged docks and a lack of electricity and ice are some the issues crabbers are facing, announced the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.
Isaac struck the hardest in Louisiana and Mississippi.
According to an assessment conducted by the promotion board last Friday, crab harvests in Louisiana suffered significant disruption due to Hurricane Isaac. Specifically, the disruption for shrimp and finfish was said to be moderate and oyster production will be limited all this month.
There are no dollar estimates of losses yet, but the assessment determined that state parishes where a federal disaster has been declared include areas where the dockside values of commercial fishing is about 75 per cent of Louisiana’s total of nearly USD 320 million, The Associated Press reports.
Board member Gary Bauer, who runs a crab processing business in Slidell, said he had to close down his business for days due to the storm, both because of power outages and because harvests went down: he said that while his facility usually processes more than 18,000 crabs a day during this time of year, crabbers have only been able to provide him with 6,000 lb over the last 12 days because it has been “physically impossible” to harvest as a result of flooded roads and damaged or destroyed infrastructure.
It remains unclear when harvests will go back to normal, he added.
Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, said the industry supports the closure of a small portion of Louisiana waters because the storm stirred up gobs of oil from the BP oil spill.
Because the industry continues to struggle with negative perceptions about Louisiana seafood since the BP spill, the Board has just voted in favour of an USD 842,000 promotion agreement with the New Orleans Saints football team, which will entail promotional signs and electronic message board promotions, ads in game day programmes and promotion of Louisiana seafood to media covering the games.
- Fishing sector faces huge loss due to Isaac
By Natalia Real