DELCAMBRE, La. (KLFY) — Shrimpers are getting ready to cast their nets, but not without major concerns for the upcoming season. Rising fuel prices could also mean higher prices for the tasty crustaceans.
News 10 spoke with people in the industry about the impact of the higher fuel cost.
“I know we are going to get hit hard by the fuel prices… You better catch a lot of shrimp,” said Cheryl Granger, owner of Granger’s Seafood in Maurice, La.
For 33 years, Cheryl and her husband Al have owned a family business that sells shrimps. Al would catch the shrimp.
“His life is pretty much on that boat during the season. He stays out for usually three to four days. He comes in, and we sell it here,” said Granger.
Over the years, Granger said they had to expand to other seafood beyond just shrimp because it was not enough to get by. Therefore, going into the upcoming shrimping season, she is worried the fuel prices will impact the profits.
“I think we’re going to have a very hard time,” Granger said. “Very hard and not just us, the crabbers, the shrimpers; everybody fishing on the water.”
Jimmie Dupre is a shrimper with a boat called ‘Old Violin’ that he inherited from his father. He has been in the industry for two years.
“I know a couple of shrimpers that burn a hundred plus gallons of diesel a day, so you’re looking at four, five hundred dollars of expensive in one day,” said Dupre.
Mark Shirley, a marine extension grant agent with Louisiana Sea Grant explained why fuel costs have shrimpers so concerned right now.
“Shrimpers, whichever it’s the offshore fleet or the inshore fleet, their biggest concern right now is the price of fuel is so high it’s going to eat into the profits to where if they don’t catch a lot of shrimps it may not even be profitable to go out on the water,” Shirley said.
Shirley offered advice for shrimpers:
“Look at the weather. Look at the tides. Reports of trip catches from other boats to decide whether you should go out,” said Shirley. “If you look at all the factors that can affect your catch; the weather, location, the size of the shrimp, and also the price of shrimp so look at all of those factors and determine if you can indeed make money going out and burning all that fuel to go catch shrimp.”
All is not bad news because there is a high demand for shrimp and fresh seafood.
“People want fresh seafood; I guarantee you that,” said Granger.
Shrimping season opens Monday. The shrimpers hope to catch a lot of shrimp to make the increase in fuel prices worth it.
“We are praying; I mean praying hard that this year will be a better year,” said Granger.