Tag Archives: Texas Shrimp Association

Shorthanded – Shrimp industry fears worker shortage

The Texas shrimp industry is celebrating a handful of recent legislative wins while also dreading next year’s shrimp season if changes aren’t made to the seasonal foreign worker visa program.
The Brownsville-Port Isabel shrimp fleet starts this season, which opens today, without enough workers. Andrea Hance, executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association, estimates that 70 percent of the fleet’s 140 trawlers will head out to the Gulf shorthanded. >click to read<10:51

Gulf shrimp season opens Sunday in state and federal waters while shrimp boats will set out lacking workers

Tuesday’s blessing-of-the-fleet event at the Brownsville Shrimp Basin felt similar to the one a year ago, with a sermon from Father Mark Watters and an issue over the shortage of workers. After facing a slight scare of almost not making it to Brownsville, Watters said his 13th year blessing the Brownsville-Port Isabel shrimp fleet was not only a number, but a message of multiplication of double profusion.“Now, 13, in the kingdom of heaven, that number, when you see it in scripture, what the enemy has stolen and made people superstitious about is actually a kingdom number that equates to double profusion,” he said. Still, the shortage of foreign workers will remain a challenge the shrimp industry has to overcome. >click to read<10:56

Roughly 150 Boats Take Part in ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ – The executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association says, however, a shortage U.S. citizen and foreign workers will cost the industry an estimated $700,000 per day this year. Video,>click here<

SIMP: Federal monitoring program will track foreign imports

A decision by Congress to add imported shrimp to the Seafood Import Monitoring Program is good news for an industry not used to hearing good news. The Gulf shrimp industry has struggled against a rising tide of cheap foreign imports for years, making it tough for domestic shrimp boat operators to make a living. Combined with the factors, this situation has led to a dramatic decline in the size of the Brownsville-Port Isabel shrimp fleet.,, The purpose is to thwart illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activity. >click to read<10:38

US Shrimp business making slow progress

Despite low dockside prices and other setbacks, local shrimping families say they have hope for this year and those to come, pointing to signs of recovery that are small, but nonetheless seen as positives. The industry got a big shot in the arm earlier this month when President Donald Trump signed into law an appropriations bill that includes money to monitor shrimp coming from other countries into the US, to verify that the companies involved are acting in accordance with US trade laws. >click to read<16:19

Shrimpers hoping for relief from foreign worker shortage

Rio Grande Valley shrimpers, faced with a crippling shortage of foreign workers due to Congress’ failure to renew the H-2B Returning Worker Program, may have a glimmer of hope in the federal spending bill signed into law May 5. The bill contains language authorizing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to raise the cap on the number of foreign workers with H-2B visas. U.S. companies can hire in fiscal year 2017 from 66,000 (33,000 for each half of the fiscal year) to nearly 130,000. The question is whether Homeland Security will follow through and raise the cap, and how soon. Andrea Hance, executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association, said owners of shrimp fleets and processing plants on the Texas coast are in desperate straits for want of workers, with the Texas shrimp season set to reopen in mid-July, she said. click here to read the story 12:48

Shrimp industry grant proposed

The Texas Shrimp Association may be in line for a $300,000 grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which will distribute a portion of the billions of dollars in RESTORE Act money generated by fines paid out by BP stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. The proposed grant is included in a draft project list of more than 200 Texas projects totaling $1.1 billion that were submitted for RESTORE Act funds. The list will go into creation of a draft “Multi-Year Implementation Plan,” which eventually will be posted in the Texas Register for a 45-day public comment period before a final MIP is developed. That document then will be submitted to the Treasury Department for final approval. In other words, the grant isn’t a done deal, though TSA Executive Director Andrea Hance is keeping her fingers crossed. TSA would use part of the money for marketing and promotion, part of it for consumer education and tourism — including shrimp tours for Winter Texans — and some of it for social media campaigns that market wild-caught Gulf shrimp directly to consumers as opposed to restaurants, she said.  Read the article here 08:53

Texas Shrimp Association industry director steamed over Deepwater Horizon Restore Act money

texas shrimpers, restore act moneyAndrea Hance isn’t happy. The executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association said that of the billions of dollars in RESTORE Act money — fines related to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in 2010 — that have been distributed to various groups in Gulf states, her industry received nothing for marketing and promotion, even though Texas shrimpers were significantly affected by the worst oil spill in U.S. history. It may all come down to the fact that, historically, the state’s industry has never had much of a voice, thus few people outside the industry understand it. But that doesn’t make Hance, who took the helm at TSA three years ago, feel any better about it. People assume that because the oil, which gushed from the seafloor for 87 days roughly 42 miles from the Louisiana coast, didn’t stray into Texas waters that the state’s shrimpers weren’t affected. In fact, when state and federal waters off Texas are closed to shrimping each year from mid-May to mid-July, the state’s fleet depends on the waters off Louisiana. Read the rest here 10:01

Brownsville Tx. – Shrimpers struggling to compete with imported shrimp

texas shrimpersA slow start to the shrimping season has local shrimpers struggling to compete with imported farm-raised shrimp. Shrimpers are eager to return to local waters after being off for two months. “We have two boats and we’re probably one of the few people that actually jumped into this business without having a family history being in the business,” Texas Shrimp Association Executive Director Andrea Hance said. She’s been in the shrimping business since 2007. She said this season is slow, especially when it comes to their prized catch. “We have a niche market in terms of the large jumbo shrimp. We’re just not catching enough of them right now,” Hance said. She said they’re seeing a lot more small shrimp out in the Gulf which is unusual. A five-pound bag of locally-caught shrimp will cost someone about $30. Imported farm-raised shrimp will sell a similar bag for around $24. Video, Read the rest here 07:23

Texas shrimp industry battles hostile trends as season closes for two months

573bc9bc4db0a.imageThe Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Coastal Fisheries Division decided May 15 was a good time to close the state’s shrimp season because, according to its sampling, the average size and number of brown shrimp in Texas coastal waters is higher than the 20-year average. Texas closes its waters to shrimping from the coast to nine nautical miles out for roughly two months each year to give little shrimp time to grow before being harvested. The National Marine Fisheries Service typically imposes a closure out to 200 nautical miles at the same time. More, bigger shrimp is potentially good news for the state’s struggling shrimp industry, since big shrimp fetch higher prices, according to Andrea Hance, shrimp fleet owner and executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association. Read the rest here 19:27

As the Brownsville Shrimp Fleet is blessed, Prices are plummeting

Andrea Hance , executive director of the Brownsville-based Texas Shrimp Association, said the blessing is especially welcome this season. “Unfortunately this year the shrimp prices, they’re starting to plummet,” she said. “It’s not going to be pleasant this year. What’s happened, the imports have shot up.” “shrimp prices are about $3 lower per pound than this time last year. That’s too big of a change. We had a boat that came in the other day that averaged $3.50 a pound. (Prices) plummeted because the big nationwide buyers, they have too much inventory. Right now imports are about as high as they’ve ever been.” Read the rest here 14:37