Low shrimp prices are hurting local fisherman who blame imports

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Local shrimpers are seeing some of the lowest shrimp prices in history, and most blame imported shrimp. 

Jimmie Dupré has been shrimping for 61 years.

He says he plans to retire soon because the industry is taking a turn for the worst. 

He says, “We can’t get good prices and they drop every time they have an open season, they drop the prices. They claim it’s on the imports. Now, who imports the shrimp? The processors import the shrimp. And they keep saying well it imports if it’s the import shrimp stop importing the damn thing.”

There’s been talk of shrimpers going on strike if prices don’t increase but Dupré says that won’t fix the problem.

“They’re not gonna buy with us. That’s why I say they have control. You either sell to them or you don’t. If you don’t sell to them, they don’t have any shrimp, they will import some,” he explains.

Fisherman at the boat landing in Delcambre sell their shrimp off the boat.

They rely on local business and the annual farmers market.

Dupré says for a 21/25 count shrimp he can sell it off of his boat for about $3.50, but if he’d take that shrimp to the factory he thinks he’d only get about $1.50. 

“Usually if I didn’t sell them all we would freeze them, but now I usually run out,” says Dupré. 

Richard Lasseigne is a regular who says he rather shrimp straight off the boat.

“Well to start with it isn’t far I’m right there in Youngsville and I want to keep it here in Delcambre,” he says.

As for the taste he says, “They are better, a lot better.”
 

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