Louisiana wild caught shrimp in high demand - KLFY News 10

Louisiana wild caught shrimp in high demand

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It doesn't get any fresher than Louisiana Gulf seafood. Over the last few months, demand for wild caught shrimp has sky-rocked. And one of the major reasons is half way around the world. Marine advisory agent with the LSU AgCenter in New Iberia, Thomas Hymel, explains.

"One of our biggest suppliers out of Thailand, there's a virus going around Asia right now, which has made the shrimp supply very short," said Hymel.

A disease spreading through Asian shrimp farms has halted a portion of American buying. Hymel says 90% of seafood served on American plates comes from an Asian farm market.

But now, Gulf shrimpers are seeing buyers on their docks scrambling to make up for the shortage.

"It's a finite supply," said Hymel. "So every package of shrimp has 10 people that want to own it."

But the problem is, this season's catch is low, making it hard for shrimpers to keep up with the demand, which is another reason for rising costs. And costing around a dollar more per-pound from last year, Hymel says it's significant.

And those in the industry say the best way to weather a rocky season is to buy directly from the source. In fact, the shrimpers in Delcambre say they prefer to sell directly to the customer. A quicker sell means shrimpers not only make a profit, but also bypass the middle men, and can turn right back around. And with roughly four months to shrimp, it's a scramble to catch what's left of this season.

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