Tag Archives: Louisiana

‘Who’s setting the prices?’ – Shrimpers are losing money, even as food gets more expensive

In Louisiana, the price of everything is going up, especially if you’re a shrimper. But the one thing that’s cheaper than ever is the shrimp they’re catching. “You can barely make it with the price of ice at $22 a block and fuel at almost $5 a gallon,” Michael Lobue Sr., a Barataria shrimper, said. “You can’t make it.” Shrimper Lanvin LeBlanc has been shrimping his whole life. It’s a family business that’s been good to him for decades, but he doesn’t know how much longer he’ll last if prices keep dropping. “We’re trying to figure out who’s setting the prices. I don’t think anyone can find out,” he said. “We need help.” Video, >click to watch/read< 10:23

High fuel prices, cheap shrimp cripple Louisiana’s shrimping industry, still recovering from Ida

Nearly a year later, the residents there and other fishing villages along the coast have yet to fully recover. Record high fuel costs and low shrimp prices are making that recovery even more difficult. Darrell Domangue, 56, has been living in Cocodrie all his life and shrimping is all he has ever known. However, with shrimp going for 75 cents to $1 per pound and the cost of fuel increasing, he wonders if he will be able to pay back the $105,000 he borrowed to buy a new boat. The average price per gallon for diesel in Louisiana is now at $5.37, up from $2.91 a year ago, AAA data shows. 18 photos, >click to read< 08:50

A Double Whammy: Louisiana shrimpers face high diesel prices, cheap imports

Record high diesel prices and competition from cheap, imported shrimp are hitting Louisiana shrimpers in the wallet and driving some of them out of business. Acy Cooper Jr. is a shrimper in Plaquemines Parish and the president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association. “Here in Louisiana, you can make a little bit of a living if you catch a few shrimp. We’re in between seasons now and once the shrimp starts slowing up, you can’t continue working at that price. A lot of folks are going to try to keep working, but once they see they can’t overcome it,” Cooper said of high fuel prices, “they’re going to shut down.”>click to read the article< 18:54

Delcambre shrimp processor overcoming old and new problems to survive

Gulf Crown Seafood’s Jeff Floyd and his son Jon agree that every year in the seafood business is unique. Each year new problems arise and are added to the same old ones continuously sticking around. Last year new problems arising from Covid and Hurricane Ida were added to the old ones; H2B visiting worker visa, labor shortages, import prices and product availability. “We weren’t affected directly by Hurricane Ida,” said the senior of the Floyds. “But without production this plant doesn’t survive. They only way we get production is with the boats. I don’t know exactly how many we lost out of the fleet from the storm, but talking to those at the docks their were a lot a fisherman whose boats won’t be able to be salvaged.” Gulf Crown Seafood in Delcambre is one of approximately seven shrimp processors left Louisiana. >click to read< 12:58

Video: U.S. Coast Guard medevacs crewmember from fishing vessel near Morgan City, La.

The Coast Guard medevaced a crewmember Monday from a commercial fishing vessel 21 miles offshore Morgan City, Louisiana. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a notification at 7:46 p.m. from the commercial fishing vessel F/V GP Amelia of a crewmember suffering from abdominal pain. Watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew to assist. The helicopter crew arrived on scene, hoisted the crewmember, and transferred them to University Medical Center in New Orleans. The crewmember was last reported to be in stable condition. >click for video< 18:25

Barataria Crabber isn’t Giving Up

A large majority of Louisiana’s crabs comes from the waters of the Barataria Estuary, situated between the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche. Scott Sugasti has been on those waters working his traps since an early age, and as one of the younger crabbers on the bayou he knows hard work is the key to success. Since Hurricane Ida he has had to work harder at avoiding numerous pitfalls the storm has caused for local fishermen. Now 23, he started crabbing on his own at the age of 13, never afraid to be alone on the water. While in high school he would get up at the crack of dawn and head out in his boat. ‘I used to go before and after school. I would wake up at three in the morning all the time and head out to run my traps.’ Over the years he has started and stopped a number of times, but it became his daily occupation when he bought his first boat from his grandfather, Jimmy Matherne, two years ago. Photos, >click to read<13:21

One rescued from shrimp boat fire near Fort Pike State Historic Site

A shrimp boat burst into flames Thursday morning near Fort Pike State Historic Site in New Orleans. One person was rescued from the boat. Kirk Jacobs with the Fort Pike Volunteer Fire Department said the person rescued was the only one on the boat. The Coast Guard also responded to the fire. This is a developing story. Video, >click to watch< 09:37

Local trawler has given his life to seafood industry, says it’s vital to protect our heritage

Next year will mark 50 years that David Dardar has been in the seafood industry, dating back to when he got his first boat as a teenager. The number of captains on the water may be fewer now than when Dardar got his start, but he said it’s vital that we do whatever it takes to keep our Cajun heritage alive. Dardar is captain of the F/V Risky Business, the boat he uses to harvest seafood from the Gulf each trawling season. Dardar said the industry is shrinking, but that it’s vital that it stays alive to protect the Cajun heritage that we all know and love. photos, >click to read< 16:38 Louisiana

Crewman Medevaced from Commercial Fishing Vessel in the Gulf

The Coast Guard medevaced a crew member Sunday from a fishing vessel 40 miles southeast of Cameron, Louisiana. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watchstanders received a medevac request at 2:57 a.m. from the 85-foot fishing vessel F/V Jonathan Boy II, stating a 60-year-old crew member was experiencing unconsciousness, clammy, pale skin, heavy breathing, and extreme fatigue. Watchstanders consulted with the duty flight surgeon, who recommended a medevac. photos, >click to read< 17:11

Louisiana shrimpers worry high diesel fuel prices will impact profits

Shrimpers are getting ready to cast their nets, but not without major concerns for the upcoming season. Rising fuel prices could also mean higher prices for the tasty crustaceans. “I know we are going to get hit hard by the fuel prices… You better catch a lot of shrimp,” said Cheryl Granger, owner of Granger’s Seafood in Maurice, La. “I think we’re going to have a very hard time,” Granger said. “Very hard and not just us, the crabbers, the shrimpers; everybody fishing on the water.” >click to read< 08:06

Louisiana HB1033: Legislation Would Have Major Costs, New Report Details Fishery’s Economic Value

Despite attempts at further regulation, the Gulf menhaden fishery is already being sustainably managed. The most recent stock assessment found that the species is not overfished nor is overfishing occurring. Since 2019, the Gulf menhaden fishery has been certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. “This report demonstrates that these proposals would likely cause real economic harm to not just the menhaden fishery, but to the coastal communities that rely on it,” said Ben Landry, Director of Public Affairs at Ocean Harvesters, which operates a fleet of menhaden fishing vessels. “Severely restricting our fishermen in state waters is both damaging and unnecessary.” The report looked at the direct, indirect, and induced impacts of the fishery, which is one of the largest in the region. >click to read< 13:56

House backs limits, but pogie bill faces tough path in Senate

A bill that would put the first substantial limits on Louisiana’s biggest but least-regulated commercial fishery cleared the state House of Representatives this week but could face fierce opposition in the Senate. House Bill 1033 would cap the menhaden catch in Louisiana waters at 573 million pounds per year and require menhaden fishing vessels to report daily locations and catch amounts to the state. This year’s bill was backed by conservation and recreational fishing groups but opposed by the menhaden industry and some of the communities that depend on it for jobs and tax dollars. >click to read< 11:54

Jobi Allemand says being a trawler isn’t for everyone, but he loves what he does

Allemand is a local commercial shrimper who has been on the water his whole life. “Being a commercial shrimper is a job I take pride in and truly love,” he said. “To make it as a trawler, you have to put in your time and work for what you catch,” Allemand said. “You can’t expect to go out and load the board the first day. Sometimes, it will take a few days just to find something to work on. There were times where things were breaking and you’re not making money, and it seemed easy to throw in the towel, but if you want to make it as a trawler, you have to put your head down and get back at it harder because if not, it will try to tear you down. For all of my successes, I owe a lot to my Dad and thank him for teaching me the in’s and out’s of being a commercial fisherman.” >click to read< 18:55

Pogie bill would put the first-ever limits on Louisiana’s biggest catch

A bill that would put the first substantial limits on Louisiana’s largest but least-known commercial fishery could improve the health of the Gulf of Mexico but cripple the economies of some coastal communities. The bill would also require menhaden fishing vessels to file daily reports on catch amounts and locations, creating a level of accountability that the bill’s proponents say has been sorely lacking. Still, industry officials say the bill could force the closure of the state’s two menhaden processing plants, putting hundreds of people out of work in areas with few other job prospects. >click to read< 08:10

Blessing of the Fleet: Boat blessings return to Terrebonne and Lafourche

After Dulac was ravaged by Hurricane Ida, this year’s shrimp boat blessing holds a special place for the Rev. Antonio Speedy of Holy Family Catholic Church. “Hurricane Ida has turned our community upside down,” he said. “It’s not the first time the people here have been through a hurricane, but this one was different from the rest. Many people have been left homeless, and the fishing season has started off slowly. There was debris all over the water.” After months of recovery, Speedy said blessing shrimp boats was the last thing on his mind. But as April approached, he began getting requests for the annual tradition. Photo gallery, >click to read< 12:24

Coast Guard medevacs crewmember from fishing vessel near Port Fourchon, La.

The Coast Guard medevaced an injured 48-year-old male from a fishing vessel Saturday approximately 15 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana.  Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders were notified at 9:36 a.m. by personnel aboard the F/V Challenger that a crewmember sustained severe injuries to the hand. Watchstanders coordinated the launch of a Coast Guard Station Grand Isle 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew to assist. In 4-to-6-foot seas, the boatcrew arrived on scene, provided immediate care to the injured crewmember, and transferred him to awaiting emergency medical services personnel at the Nerby Collins Commercial Fishing Marina in Port Fourchon. The crewmember was last reported to be in stable condition. U.S. Coast Guard 8th District Heartland 18:05

Alabama Man Cited For Commercial Fishing Violations in Plaquemines Parish

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Agents cited an Alabama man for alleged commercial fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on March 17. Agents cited James R. Owens, 53, of Sumerdale, Alabama, for fishing without a commercial gear license and using shrimp trawls exceeding the size requirements in offshore Louisiana territorial waters. Agents were on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol in the Gulf of Mexico inspecting shrimp vessels for Turtle Excluder Device (TED) regulations. They boarded a vessel captained by Owens and found he did not possess commercial gear licenses for each of the four trawls he was actively using. >click to read< 16:00

Louisiana: Violet man found guilty of commercial crab pot theft

A Violet man was found guilty of commercial crab trap theft in the St. Bernard Parish Courthouse in Chalmette on March 17, 2022. The Honorable Judge William McGoey for the 34th Judicial District of St. Bernard Parish found Paul Emile Metzler IV, 40, guilty of theft of crab traps and sentenced him to a fine of $400 plus court costs.  Metzler also had his crab trap gear licenses revoked for one year. Additionally, during the period of his license revocation Metzler cannot be on any boat harvesting crabs, possessing crabs,,, >click to read< 16:19

Grand Isle shrimp dock owner Dean Blanchard takes good with the bad after Hurricane Ida

The docks at Blanchard Seafood plant are about as close to the Gulf of Mexico as possible without getting wet. When Hurricane Ida struck the island, all that changed. The processing plant was not only inundated, but the winds tore away walls and ceilings, leaving owner and wholesaler Dean Blanchard with more than $1 million in damage. “It was Katrina-like damage,” Blanchard said. “There was less water damage but a hell of a lot of wind damage. We thought Katrina was a once-in-a-lifetime storm, but apparently it wasn’t.”  At 63, Blanchard has seen his share of disasters impacting not only his seafood business but also the whole state. >click to read< 09:38

Louisiana man says he will fight to protect our Cajun seafood heritage

Fewer people work on the water today than they did 20 years ago, and there are many reasons for that decrease. But for Golden Meadow seafood fisherman Chad Cheramie Sr., his work is a labor of love, one that he hopes to protect and pass on to future generations in his family. Cheramie catches crabs, crawfish and black drum throughout the year, using his catch to provide for his family. He said that the work is hard, but it’s a passion, one he hopes to do for as long as God allows. >click to read< 09:22

$4.2 million federal grant seeks to help Louisiana seafood processors recoup COVID losses

Louisiana will receive a $4.2 million federal grant to help seafood processors recover losses sustained during the ongoing COVID pandemic. It’s part of a $50 million allocation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to about two dozen coastal states announced Monday. The aid comes from a $2.3 trillion bipartisan bill approved by Congress and then President Donald Trump in December 2020. It combined $900 million in COVID stimulus money with $1.4 trillion to fund various federal agencies. The USDA has not detailed specifics about how the latest aid will be distributed to seafood processors. >click to read< 08:32

Graves seeks Federal Fishery Disaster Determination for Louisiana

U.S. Rep. Garret Graves recently urged the Biden Administration to declare a Fishery Disaster Determination that would provide targeted relief to one of Louisiana’s most impacted sectors and help both commercial and recreational fishers begin to recover from myriad disasters. “Our fishermen have taken a pounding over the last several years. Hurricanes, floods, unfair trade practices, over-regulation, and a global pandemic have delivered a major blow to our workforce and consumer demand,” Rep. Graves wrote in a Jan. 20 letter sent to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Under law, only the Commerce Secretary can make this determination,,, >click to read< 08:18

The Oysterman, the Pirate and Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands 

Maurer was in a bind. Hurricane Ida had decimated the supply chain. The storm swept through the heart of Louisiana’s $2.4bn seafood industry, which supports one out of 70 jobs in the state, leaving him with no roads, no power, and very little seed. He decided he needed to find “new routes to market, whether by boat or by land. Go pirate on them.” He meant this literally. As he looked for a solution among the lingering chaos of the hurricane, he thought of the notorious pirate Jean Laffite, who once operated out of Grand Isle. Maurer decided he would follow the same route: He bought Les Bons Temps to see if he could bring his catch to town directly, bypassing the wrecked roads and bridges. photos, >click to read< 15:12

Lifelong trawler says success comes to those who love the craft

Local trawler Blake Badeaux said he doesn’t know how much longer the local seafood industry will survive in southeast Louisiana due to tough prices and competition from imports. But he plans to be on the water as long as he’s physically able to keep going. Badeaux said he’s been on a trawl boat since he’s 6 months old, and he’s going to keep on going as long as he can, calling a life on the water a labor of love. When asked why he believes fewer younger people are getting into the profession, he said that he believes manual labor is a factor that is likely pulling people away. “There’s not many young people nowadays who like the hard manual labor that comes with trawling,” >click to read< 19:55

Hurricane Ida turns Houma oysterman’s life upside down

For more than six hours, fifth-generation Houma oysterman Jacob David Hulse; his girlfriend, Lindsey Willis; and his dog, Change; huddled inside a friend’s oyster shop as Hurricane Ida slammed ashore Aug. 29. As the more than 140-mph winds started to subside, Hulse, 33, thought he had gone through the worst of it. But as many Louisiana fishermen are finding out, his troubles were only beginning. “Many in our Louisiana seafood families like the Hulses are still homeless from the hurricanes and not sure from where their next meal is coming,” said Ewell Smith a board member with the Gulf Seafood Foundation and a member of the Louisiana Fishing Community Recovery Coalition.  >click to read< 11:30

Louisiana Fishing Industry Suffered $579 Million in Damages Due to 2020-21 Hurricanes

Hurricanes Laura, Delta, Zeta, and Ida, which swept through Louisiana during various points in 2020 and 2021, resulted in an estimated $579 million in losses to the state’s fisheries infrastructure, revenues, and biological resources, according to a study by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, LSU and Louisiana Sea Grant. The study’s findings, released today, analyzes monetized losses to fisheries infrastructure (including vessels), sales or gross revenue, and resources losses to fish and oysters. The study also projects financial losses that are continuing into 2022. >click to read< 10:14

Port of Delcambre improving docks with $2M federal grant

While Bayou Carlin is a great place fishermen can sell directly to the public, it’s not without its flaws. Sunken shrimp boats litter the docks, debris rests in the channel, and hurricanes have damaged the structure. Port of Delcambre Director Wendell Verret admits the local seafood industry has been in decline for many years. “We’re just hanging on by our fingernails really to be honest,” Storms, the economy, even marine biology can all be obstacles to the Louisiana fisherman. Though those things are outside of the industry’s control, the infrastructure is. Video, >click to read< 15:34

‘Bonfires on the Levee’ – A Christmas Eve Spectacular!

The Louisiana River Parishes Tourist Commission, along with Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, culminated the Christmas season with ‘Bonfires on the Levee’ in St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist on Friday, Dec. 24. The Christmas Eve spectacular was canceled last year due to COVID-19. But the tradition is back, and this year features a 67-foot Louisiana Blue Crab bonfire in Garyville. Lots of happy people attended this over three-hundred-year-old Christmas Eve tradition.  >click to watch< 14:42

Hurricane Ida: Local trawler pushing forward, despite changes in the industry

Louisiana – Local trawler Brad Duet has been trawling for all of his adult life. “I make a good living, and I love what I do. It’s just a shame there’s no more people getting into this. I feel like those of us out there now are a little bit like the last of a dying breed.” At 18, he became the captain of his own boat. He partnered with his mother to run a boat and get his start as a full-time captain. By 25, it was time for him to be fully on his own, so he went to the bank and secured financing for the F/V Sassy Sandy the boat he runs today. Hurricane Ida has done a lot to change the local trawling industry, and he’s not sure if things are ever truly going to get back to the “old normal.”  >click to read< 17:25

Jean Lafitte-area fishermen struggle with wrecked boats, lost businesses and lots of mud

When Hurricane Ida blew through lower Jefferson Parish in late August, it brought wind, rain and surge. What it left behind was mud,,, Larry Helmer, 70, who’s been fishing local waters his whole life, can’t get either of his boats out from where they’re docked at his home on Anthony Lane in Barataria. “If I can’t get out on my boat, I can’t go fish, and at my age, I can’t go on no job hunt,” he said, chuckling ruefully. Helmer’s son, who lives two canals away, is in the same position. “He can’t even go to work. His boat is just about on bottom,” Helmer said. “It’s terrible, man — it’s just terrible. The mud from this hurricane just filled these canals in.” >click to read< 07:36