Fishermen fight back on imported shrimp

Louisiana Shrimp Industry struggles as more imports from foreign countries come in.
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 4:52 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana Shrimp Industry struggles as more imports from foreign countries come in.

A big part of Louisiana is the shrimp industry, but the Louisiana Shrimp Taskforce worries they will not survive due to the overwhelming amount of imports.

“We are Louisiana, I don’t care how you look at it. When you talk about Louisiana, there’s only a couple of things you talk about, and fishing is one of them. You don’t want to come to Louisiana and eat Indonesia shrimp, you want to eat Louisiana shrimp,” says Acy Cooper chairman of the Louisiana Shrimp Taskforce.

Cooper says they have gotten the numbers, showing the United States imported billons of shrimp from foreign countries like Indonesia, Peru, Thailand and Vietnam.

“This year is 2 billion pounds, a little bit over probably two and a half billion. We only consume 1.5-1.6 billion. So, why are we allowing this much to come in, knowing what it is going to do to our industry,” adds Cooper.

Cooper says it all comes down to Louisiana processors and restaurants choosing the cheaper product, but as processors buy more from foreign countries, the less likely folks are to have Gulf Shrimp of Mexico on their next poboy.

“So, when you see a family that is suffering, having my sons doing it and they are struggling right now. My boats tied up, and when you see this happening, you start seeing a lot of trickle effects on the community just going down,” explains Cooper.

Louisiana Shrimp Taskforce members agreed to hire a lobbyist to help fight for the industry.

“My biggest concern, the imports coming in is about to devastate our way of life, our culture, our heritage, our communities,” said Cooper.

The next Louisiana Shrimp Taskforce meeting will take places on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, in New Orleans. They are encouraging the public and local fishermen to attend these meetings to raise awareness.

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