Vermilion

Aug 13, 2013 11:21 PM by Steven Albritton

Delcambre Shrimp Season Gets Underway, Industry Change On The Horizon

The town of Delcambre is preparing to celebrate all things shrimp. The shrimp season opened Monday and the the shrimp festival starts Wednesday and runs through Sunday.

For those who get up early and head to the docks, each new year comes with new challenges to overcome, and the 2013 season is already starting off with shrimpers keeping an eye on the gulf.

"It went well except for the weather. It's above average for us smaller boats," Shrimper Terry Latiolais said.

Latiolais and his family aren't the only ones keeping an eye on the sky. Ruth Pitre has been in the shrimping business for 55 years working with Ocean Harvest.

"I don't know that little disturbance that's coming might stir something up. Hopefully, things will get better because it seems all over the coast is slow," Pitre said.

During her time, she has seen the industry change. She says many of the bigger boats are gone, and the number of shrimpers is down.

"All those old fisherman retired and the kids and grandkids pretty much go into something else. So, you've got very few local fishermen." Pitre said.

Even with the changes, Pitre is hoping for high prices for both the shrimpers and producers to benefit.

"It's never enough for the fishermen, but it is going up! They always say it's never enough," she said.

Even as the shrimp season is underway, international shrimp producers are becoming more of a problem for producers here at home. U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu is hoping the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will put a tariff on these imports to keep them from aggressively undercutting prices here in the U.S. The prices they can offer could force shrimpers out of business. Landrieu is hoping to protect the more than 14,000 jobs the shrimp industry accounts for here in Louisiana.

"We need to have the rules of the road fair for our shrimpers. So, between the hurricanes, the BP spill and now this import attack, they're having a hard time," Senator Landrieu said.

The FTC will decide on those tariffs on September 19th.

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