Tag Archives: Louisiana

Locals want more rules for seafood imports

 Only about 10% of seafood consumed in America is domestic. That’s crippling the Louisiana seafood industry.  “For the last two years it’s just about ruined the industry,” Louisiana fisherman Pete Gerica said.  In his 50 years on the water, Gerica has never seen it this bad. “There’s just so much you can take,” Gerica said. “Fuel prices being $4.00 a gallon. The cost of everything you buy, it’s just you can’t stay in business if you keep on spending money and you ain’t making none.”  Monday, Congressman Garret Graves and Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser testified before the Louisiana Seafood Task Force in Baton Rouge. more, video, >>click to read<< 12:40

Rep. Garret Graves wants federal funding to reduce imported seafood, aid Louisiana fishery

U.S. Rep. Garret Graves and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser are calling for more federal funding to test imported seafood and tighter regulations to slow the influx of foreign catch onto Louisiana’s seafood market. Both Graves and Nungesser shared separate though somewhat similar proposals recently with the Louisiana Seafood Safety Task Force, which is working to address a struggling domestic fishery and the increasing health threats from imported foreign seafood. Foreign catch has become so cheap that it now comprises nearly 90 percent of all seafood consumed in America, according to the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board. more, >>click to read<< 15:30

Man sues business partner over fishing boat

A man has sued a business partner over the purchase of a shrimp trawler. Abraham Nguyen filed his complaint October 30 in federal court against F/V Kim Thu and TNL Fishery. In the lawsuit, Nguyen says Loi Hang “wanted to purchase a shrimp trawler in Louisiana and wanted Nguyen to convert it into a long-line tuna boat capable of operating off the coast of Hawaii.” Hang is one of two owners of Hawaii-based TNL Fishery along with Cindy Nguyen, who is not related to the plaintiff. Nguyen, who is a welder, previously had converted another shrimp trawler for Hang, the suit states. >>click to read<< 10:37

That ‘Gulf’ shrimp you ate probably wasn’t from the Gulf of Mexico

What if every imported seafood product for sale in Louisiana had a red sticker with the word “Imported” affixed to the front of its packaging? That question is one of several the state Seafood Safety Task Force is asking in an effort to address a struggling domestic fishery and increasing health risks from imported catch. The task force met Friday for just the second time in over a decade following a long dormant period that ended last month. State Sen. Fred Mills, R-St. Martinville, chairs the task force that he said will try to develop solutions to address three areas: the health and safety of consumers, the economy of the domestic seafood sector, and consumer education. An influx of cheap foreign catch has flooded the seafood market in Louisiana, and most restaurants in the state choose to serve imported shrimp and crawfish to patrons who are either oblivious to it or mistakenly believe they’re eating local fare, according to the Louisiana Shrimp Association. The effects have decimated a local industry and unique Louisiana culture while also potentially introducing harmful contaminants into the food supply. >>click to read<< 11:52

Louisiana elected officials seek to protect local fishermen from imported shrimp

Louisiana elected officials are rallying to find solutions to help protect the state’s shrimp fishermen from cheap foreign shrimp that critics say is depriving shrimpers of their livelihood and undermining public health. Last month, the state Legislature’s Seafood Safety Task Force met to consider ways to stem the influx of shrimp from China and other nations amid concerns that the imported seafood may contain impurities that pose risks to the health of Louisianans. In addition, Gov. John Bel Edwards has requested that the U.S. secretary of commerce declare an emergency disaster declaration to provide assistance to shrimp fishermen. The Florida-based Southern Shrimp Alliance is also urging governors of Gulf and southeastern states to request federal relief funds for shrimpers. >>click to read<< 07:29

Judge declaws key part of Massachusetts lobstermen’s libel lawsuit against California aquarium

A federal judge in Louisiana ruled this week there’s no rational reason for Massachusetts lobstermen to sue a California aquarium for libel in Louisiana, which has a law against disparaging seafood, and so ordered the case moved to California, where you’re free to say what you want about harvested sea creatures. Aa group of lobstermen from Gloucester, Marion, North Truro and Plymouth had sued the Monterey Bay Aquarium earlier this year for a press release in which the aquarium said the way lobsters are caught off New England endangers the increasingly rare Atlantic right whale and urged companies and consumers to consider other briny alternatives. >>click to read<< 09:28

Beaufort’s shrimping industry on the brink. Local boats sit while imported catch floods market

Thursday at Village Creek on St. Helena Island was another picture postcard-worthy morning with an American flag lilting in a slight southeast breeze near the shrimper Gracie Bell — idly tied to the dock. At Sea Eagle Market, a catch of shrimp swept up in the nets of trawlers in recent days are being processed by small group of dockside workers. They clean the valuable seafood crop harvested from waters as far away as North Carolina to the northeast coast of Florida before being sold locally and up and down the Palmetto State’s coast. After this recent harvest was completed, the boats returned, as they always do — to Village Creek, home base for shrimping on Fripp and Hunting Islands in Beaufort County and beyond. Against this serene backdrop, a storm is brewing that threatens destruction. It is not the threat of foul weather, these shrimpers have seen generations of bad weather days. The storm brewing is economic for the community of shrimpers and related businesses. >click to read< 10:10

Shrimp Alliance request fisheries disaster declaration

There’s no other way to put it if you ask Aaron Wallace. Despite a decent catch by the eight shrimp boats that supply Anchored Shrimp Co. in Brunswick, the prices fishermen are getting for their hauls aren’t what they should be. “It’s been one of our toughest years,” Wallace said. He and his father, John Wallace, own Anchored Shrimp and operate the Gale Force, one of the boats that serve the company’s retail and wholesale business. The Southern Shrimp Alliance, for which John Wallace serves as a member of the board of directors, is calling the flood of imported shrimp a crisis. The alliance asked the governors of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas in a letter on Aug. 25 to collectively request a fisheries disaster determination by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for the U.S. shrimp fishery. >>click to read<< 11:06

Federal aid for Louisiana fisheries delivered after nearly four years

After a long wait, Louisiana’s fisheries finally will receive $58 million in federal aid to offset disaster impacts, U.S. Rep. Garret Graves announced. “There is no excuse for the bureaucracy to take four years for the disaster relief we secured to actually be made available, but these funds will be invaluable,” he said in the announcement. “We have promised the seafood industry we would not stop our fight to bring them relief while working to reform the broken fisheries disaster process. We will continue to work with our fishing community to cut through the red tape and make this program functional.” He also pointed out the state’s seafood industry endured the impacts of Hurricane Ida in 2021 and other disasters, in addition to the rise in inflation, high fuel prices, and supply chain problems, among other issues. >>click to read<< 09:54

Louisiana shrimpers, lawmakers unite to protect domestic fisheries as season begins

The Louisiana Shrimp Association joined in a letter that said the influx of imported shrimp has proven especially problematic for domestic harvesters. Nineteen other allied organizations and companies, representing more than 4,000 seafood businesses of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic region also signed onto the letter. “Despite rising costs for fuel and labor, the price of Gulf shrimp, for example, has not increased since 1980. For the past 40 years, the average dockside price of Gulf shrimp has ranged from $1.50-$2.00 per 2 pounds,” the letter said. The Louisiana Legislature on June 6 presented House Concurrent Resolution 113 to the Secretary of State. The resolution urges Congress to ban the import of shrimp and crawfish from outside the United States. >click to read< 11:24

Hidden crisis: Louisiana’s shrimping industry is quickly disappearing

In and around Southeast Louisiana, many of us like to think we know what shrimp that is wild caught and comes from the Gulf of Mexico tastes like. In this region where there’s always an emphasis on local products and businesses, there’s a certain pride in buying and eating shrimp that has been harvested by local fishermen and shrimpers. When we order shrimp at a local restaurant, we often assume it originated in the Gulf of Mexico and was caught by Louisiana shrimpers. Acy Cooper says that would be the wrong assumption. “They’re selling people a lie in New Orleans, and around the state. They’re selling them a lie because it’s all about money,” Cooper said. Podcast, >click to read< 09:05

Menhaden ship captain cited for violating new fishing restrictions on Louisiana coast

The captain of a menhaden ship was cited for fishing within a restricted buffer zone off Terrebonne Parish near Vermillion Bay early this month, the first such citation under new rules. According to the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Michael J. Tapper, 47, of Moss Point, Miss. used his 154-foot “mother ship” to fish “well inside” a new buffer zone that restricts menhaden fishing within a quarter mile of the coast. The new restrictions, which went into effect last year, established even larger buffers around Elmer’s Island, Grand Isle and Grand Terre Island. The citation is the first under the restrictions. >click to read< 10:34

Letter: Pleas for help from Louisiana shrimpers fall on deaf ears

The Louisiana shrimp industry is in crisis; putting our 15,000 jobs and $1.3 billion industry at risk. During the legislative session, hundreds of shrimpers, dock owners and processors marched on the State Capitol to call out unwanted competition from imported shrimp. Louisiana plays a  significant role in the U.S. shrimp market, accounting for 25% of the nation’s demand. But imports from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Ecuador are flooding U.S. markets, resulting in distressed prices for our product. >click to read< 08:06

Imported shrimp threatening Louisiana’s seafood industry

In June, a fleet of fishermen stood at the capitol to plead lawmakers to save their industry from imports. “What we’re seeing is a flood of shrimp coming into the country in droves far beyond what we can consume as a country each year,” Chalin Delaune, the Vice President of Tommy’s Seafood, a processor of gulf caught seafood in Louisiana, said. It worked, and the state legislature approved a bill that would give tax breaks to commercial fisherman to help them compete with foreign prices. “The legislation is a start in the right direction,” Delaune said.” “It should’ve happened a long time ago and we believe there’s a lot of work to still be done.” Video, >click to read< 10:23

What you should know about The Shrimpocalypse, the wipeout of a time-honored US industry

On the inviting, teal-colored water in the shipping channels off the coast of southern Louisiana, Phillip “Rooster” Dyson pilots his bright red shrimp boat named Papa’s Shadow through a landscape he no longer recognizes. His practiced gaze sweeps over the water, but very little remains of the small fishing community of Cameron, where he has lived all his 40 years. The rickety wooden social clubs, bars, homes, and colorful shrimping boats are gone, most of it replaced by giant liquid natural gas terminals, and many more are planned for Louisiana’s fragile coast. “It costs $400 just to take the boat out,” he said in his strong Southern Creole accent, adding that July can often be a slow month for shrimp. One of his most recent catches in mid-July brought in a measly $200, to be shared between himself and the two men that work on his boat. Dyson has eight kids, while his employees also have families. Photo gallery, >click to read< 11:47

Coast Guard medevacs crewmember from fishing vessel near Venice, La.

The Coast Guard medevaced a crewmember from a fishing vessel Wednesday near Venice, Louisiana. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a call on Channel 16 at 5:13 p.m. from the fishing vessel F/V Sea Charger requesting a medevac for a crewmember aboard who was experiencing stroke-like symptoms. Sector New Orleans watchstanders coordinated the launch of a Coast Guard Station Venice Response Boat – Medium crew to respond. A Coast Guard Cutter Tigershark boat crew also diverted to assist. The boat crews arrived on scene and embarked the man onto the RB-M which then transferred him to awaiting emergency medical services personnel at Coast Guard Station Venice. The man was taken to Ochsner Medical Center West Bank where he was last reported to be in stable condition.

Federal Fisheries disaster declared for Louisiana over 2020 hurricanes – Mississippi also sees disaster declaration

The federal government has announced its approval of a disaster declaration over damage to Louisiana fisheries due to three 2020 hurricanes, opening the door to federal aid for commercial fishers. Separately, Mississippi fisheries were issued another disaster declaration over the unprecedented 2019 Bonnet Carre Spillway openings in Louisiana. The governor noted the affected parishes were home to nearly 2,500 commercial fishers and vessels combined along with more than 100 wholesale dealers and a similar number of charter captains. The storm led to damaged docks and boating facilities, lost gear and vessels, lost housing and loss of stored seafood, Edwards said. >click to read< 13:14

Coast Guard medevacs commercial fishing vessel crewmember near Pass a Loutre, La.

The Coast Guard medevaced a commercial fishing vessel crewmember Thursday near Pass a Loutre, Louisiana. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a call via VHF-FM channel 16 at 4:30 a.m. from the commercial fishing vessel F/V Danna B stating a crewmember was experiencing suspected drug withdrawals symptoms. Watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard Station Venice Response Boat-Medium rescue crew to assist. The rescue crew arrived on scene, transported the crewmember, and transferred him to awaiting emergency medical services personnel back at Station Venice. The crewmember was last reported to be in stable condition. -USCG 13:07

Fishermen File Lawsuit Against Biden Administration, Claiming Regulations are Threatening Their Business

Two fishermen have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, claiming that Congress and unelected councils are unconstitutionally regulating and overseeing fisheries. Commercial fishermen George Arnesen of Louisiana and Ryan Bradley of Mississippi argue that the regulatory authority has been placed in the hands of an “unconstitutional regime” that is detrimental to local fishermen. They claim that these regulations make them “vulnerable to capture by narrow private interests.”The lawsuit specifically cites the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act as the primary law governing marine fisheries management in U.S. federal waters. The plaintiffs argue that Congress has converted federal waters into “Constitution-free zones,” in violation of the Constitution. >click to read< 09:52

There have been 2,600 violations of Louisiana’s imported shrimp law — and no fines

Health inspectors have recorded more than 2,600 violations of a 2019 Louisiana law that requires restaurants and other food establishments to indicate on their menus if they’re selling imported shrimp or crawfish, but the state hasn’t levied a single fine for those violations since the law took effect. It’s a problem local fishermen have been calling attention to for years. Foreign seafood has become so cheap that it is almost ubiquitous. According to the Louisiana Shrimp Association, most restaurants in the state have chosen to serve imported shrimp and crawfish to patrons who are either oblivious to it or believe they’re eating local fare. >click to read< 10:49

Cheap Imports Leave US Shrimpers Struggling to Compete

 “We are paying to work. We are paying to feed our nation,” said Kindra Arnesen, at a rally on the steps of Louisiana’s towering capitol in Mid-May. “I ask for immediate emergency action at all levels. Nothing else will be accepted by this group.” The 45 year-old shrimp harvester, who has been hailed as a voice for the Gulf and has fought for decades to sustain the domestic shrimp industry, was surrounded by nearly a hundred other harvesters who had traveled inland from their homes along coastal Louisiana to Baton Rouge to rally for livable shrimp prices. “Nobody can make money,” said Ronald Johnston, a 64-year-old shrimper who came to the U.S. in 1981 as a Vietnamese refugee. At the rally he held a lime-green poster that read: “Shrimp: $.40 cents. Diesel: $3.95” while sitting on a scooter that helps with his mobility. Photos, >click to read and comment< 08:01

Shrimpers and fishers concerned about LNG expansion

Cameron has been home to a thriving fishing and shrimping industry since the 1800′s, but will it always be that way? Some of the fishers and shrimpers have a bleak outlook about their future as the LNG Industry grows. A media boat tour was held for local and out-of-town media aimed at making people more aware. It was a beautiful day on the water aboard Phillip “Rooster” Dyson’s shrimp boat. Shrimping is a way of life for generations of his family. But he said they are being squeezed out by the booming growth of LNG export companies. He doesn’t think the fishing industry will last. Video, >click to read< 10:55

Coast Guard medevacs commercial fishing vessel crewmember near Venice, La.

The Coast Guard medevaced a commercial fishing vessel crewmember Tuesday in West Bay near Venice, Louisiana. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a call via VHF-FM channel 16 at 1:11 p.m. from the commercial fishing vessel F/V Mary Judith stating a crewmember lost consciousness after being struck in the head by the vessel’s rigging equipment. Watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew to assist. The aircrew arrived on scene, hoisted the crewmember, and transferred him to University Medical Center New Orleans. The crewmember was last reported to be in stable condition. >click for video< 20:30

Louisiana: Lawmakers taking action to protect state’s seafood industry

Fishermen in Louisiana are suffering from imports and they’re worried about the future of the seafood industry in the state. It’s why lawmakers are putting tougher restrictions on imports to help struggling shrimpers. Fishermen say they are at risk of losing their livelihoods due to inflation and the abundance of imported seafood. It’s why shrimpers stood on the capitol steps urging lawmakers to do something. Louisiana Shrimp Association President Acy Cooper has been a fisherman in Louisiana for 45 years. He said he hopes he is able to keep it alive so that his grandkids can carry on the legacy. >click to read< 09:12

Louisiana shrimpers are worried imports will sink them for good

It’s the start of brown shrimp season in Louisiana, and instead of a fleet of boats heading out to trawl nearby waters, fishermen have gathered like an armada at the Louisiana State Capitol to tell lawmakers that the industry is in dire straits. Hundreds of longtime shrimpers tied up their boats and held a rally at the Capitol in recent weeks in a rare show of unity from all factions of the volatile shrimping industry. Shrimpers, dock owners, and processors have for decades pointed fingers at each other for driving prices down. But now, they’re all protesting against the unwanted competition affecting their livelihoods: imported shrimp. Photos, >click to read< 16:34

Shrimpers in Louisiana struggling to survive off low prices

Last week, shrimpers from across Louisiana held a rally at the State Capitol, blaming foreign imports for overcrowding the market. “You’re not breaking even right now, you’re in the red. Matter of fact, you’re below the red. I just don’t know what else to do,” Hackberry shrimper Kenny Kellum said. The abundance of foreign imported shrimp has caused prices to plummet in Louisiana, making it nearly impossible for shrimpers to survive. “We don’t want to give it up but we’re being forced out of something we’ve been doing all our lives and there’s no reason why somebody else should come in here and put us out of our living,” Kellum said. Video, >click to read< 16:34

Shrimpers gather at La. capitol to protest rising prices, falling profits

Dozens of local fishermen and women gathered on the steps of the State Capitol Thursday morning to voices worries over the low prices of freshly-caught shrimp and their competition with imported seafood. “Inflation went up, shrimp’s down, can’t even afford fuel to go out,” one protestor said. “We shouldn’t be [at the Capitol] right now,” said fisherman Gareth Leblanc. “We should be working.” His brother, Lanvin Leblanc, is a 65-year-old fisherman who has been working in Louisiana waters for 25 years. Lanvin said that if prices stay up for another year, it could be too late.  >click to read< 10:35

The search for the 88TH S&P Festival Queen has begun!

The Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival and Fair Association and the Past Queen’s Club have announced that the search for the new Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival queen has begun. The association is looking for a special young woman to carry on the tradition of representing the oldest state-chartered harvest festival in Louisiana. She will be a goodwill ambassador for the Tri-City area and will represent the 88th Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival. The deadline for submitting applications to the festival office will be 3:30 p.m. June 2. Some of the requirements to be queen are: >click to read< 14:53

Cassidy Urges International Trade Commission to Keep Antidumping Orders on Shrimp from China, India, Thailand, Vietnam

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy M.D. (R-LA) expressed his support for continuing antidumping orders on imports of frozen warmwater shrimp imported from China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam in a letter to U.S. International Trade Commission Chairman David Johanson. Cassidy highlighted the importance of these antidumping orders to ensure Louisiana’s shrimp industry can compete on a level playing field. “Dumped imports from China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam surged into the U.S. market, driving down prices, depressing earnings, and making it increasingly difficult to cover the costs of production. Faced with declining revenues and market share, many small fishermen, processors, and distributors were forced to close. The orders have imposed needed discipline on imports and allowed our vital Louisiana shrimp industry to survive,” wrote Dr. Cassidy. >click to read< 14:40

Spring Shrimp Season to Open in a Portion of Louisiana Inshore Waters May 1

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission convened a special meeting to consider setting the opening of the spring shrimp season in a portion of state inshore waters.  The Commission set the opening based on information provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and public comments.  The Commission set the season as follows: >click to read< 10″22