LOUISIANA (KLFY) – The Louisiana shrimping industry seems to be moving in the right direction according to local shrimpers after Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) requested an increase in price and stricter inspections on imported shrimp.

Lifelong shrimper Joseph Sauce Jr. said he is glad about the representation by Higgins in Washington, and that he is able to back the shrimping industry which has been on the decline for years.

“He has been a good man for us in Washington. Whatever he could do for us we appreciate,” said Sauce.

On April 4, Higgins sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting stricter inspections on shrimp imports following recent reports of a virus known as white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) found in frozen shrimp from India and elsewhere in South Asia.

This virus can be very contagious and can potentially have a severely negative impact on the domesticated shrimp industry.

Sauce believes Higgins’s approach to the issue allows for a level playing field to combat imports for local shrimpers.

“When you go across state lines, everything has to meet certain high specs,” Sauce Jr. said. “Why shouldn’t foreign shrimp meet them same specs?”

According to Sauce, changes must be made as soon as possible for the sake of the industry he has been a part of his whole life.

“It’s had its ups and its downs, but it is the worst I’ve have seen it in my lifetime right now,” Sauce said.