Shrimp capture. (Photo Credit: NOAA)
Louisiana shrimpers worry about price drop
Thursday, May 28, 2015, 03:50 (GMT + 9)
Louisiana shrimp season, which opened a week ago, has already been affected by a plummet in the crustacean price at the dock, issue that fishermen relate to a huge increase in imports.
Sector sources told FIS.com that Louisiana Shrimp Association President Clint Guidry considers the drop in prices has been by 50 per cent, which in his opinion has an adverse affect on the entire industry.
Guidry states the dramatic drop in the price of shrimp is making it difficult for fishermen to pay expenses and make a profit. However, he is hopeful the federal government will step in and help curb the number of imports allowed in the US.
Meanwhile, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data has revealed that smaller shrimp cost USD 3.75 per pound a year ago and USD 3 in 2013. Shrimpers informed that similar catches have dropped from 75 cents to 80 cents this season, Houma Today reported.
An entrepreneur in the sector Dean Blanchard of Dean Blanchard Seafood on Grand Isle pointed out that inshore shrimpers compete with offshore boats, which have an earlier season, and with foreign shrimpers, who have flooded the market with imported shrimps.
After a disease among imported shrimp during the past few years that cut down on the competition, foreign inventory is back up, but, countries with stricter import standards will not accept this seafood.
“The Europeans are refusing to buy them, the Germans are refusing to buy them, the Mexicans are refusing to buy them and we’re buying them all,” he complains. “So there’s a product that can’t be sold anywhere in the civilized world but the United States.”
On the other hand, those in the local shrimp industry said shrimpers this year are bringing in more smaller brown shrimp and fewer large white shrimp than most years. Industry observers cite natural variations in the tide and a season that was opened too late by state officials as possible reasons.
Others even suspect a connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, which dumped more than 170 million gallons of oil into the Gulf for nearly three months.
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