DELCAMBRE, La. (KLFY) – Aug. 7 marks the beginning of shrimp season. For local shrimpers it also marks the beginning of another season filled with concerns about imported shrimp being purchased over local shrimp.
What used to be an exciting time for local shrimpers has now turned into a quiet start this season. Not many shrimpers are out because, as some of them say, the industry is just about done.
A local shrimper who wished to remain anonymous says he is not a fan of the shrimping season starting so early. He says it hasn’t given shrimp enough time to grow.
“Opening the season this early, they just killed half the season of the year.”
If the season would have started closer to the end of the month he says, the quality of shrimp would be better and possibly have some chance of competing with imported shrimp. However, imported shrimp is still threatening the local shrimping business by selling at prices that local shrimpers cannot afford to do.
“All the shrimp plants are complaining about it. ‘Why y’all not selling us our big shrimps?’ We’re not crazy, we can’t afford to sell it to you a dollar a pound because it don’t pay the fuel to put back in the boat.”
He says the amount of money it takes to fuel up a boat, go out and catch shrimp, and then sell it themselves leaves them breaking even or spending more than what was made.
“If you catching a 40-50-60-70 (per pound) shrimp and you come to the plant and they give you fifty cents a pound, seventy cents a pound and you come with 21-25’s and they only give you a dollar a pound, how you gone make money?”
Shrimpers say this is a delicate and sad time for the shrimp business and says if nothing changes fast, the domestic industry as a whole will be gone.