Louisiana Shrimpers Strike Over Too-Low Prices For Their Catch

Sep 9, 2014

Hundreds of Louisiana shrimpers are leaving their boats parked, and their shrimp nets dry for five days, to protest rock bottom prices from processors.
Credit Eve Troeh / WWNO
Hundreds of Louisiana shrimpers are leaving their boats parked, and their shrimp nets dry for 5 days, to protest rock bottom prices from processors.
Credit Eve Troeh / WWNO

This week, hundreds of Louisiana shrimpers say they’re leaving their boats parked, and their shrimp nets dry.

The Louisiana Shrimp Association announced a voluntary five-day work stoppage. The goal? To get shrimp processors to pay a higher price.

Louisiana brown shrimp season started with high prices in May. They stayed up for a while, but recently dropped, by up to a dollar a pound. Rocky Morales works out of Delacroix, La. He says blaming the big price drop on imports doesn’t account for the drastic change.

“The public don’t see the drop in price, it’s just us, all the time,” says Morales. “But I bet if you go to the supermarket, shrimp wont be a dollar a pound cheaper.”

“We just want to see what’s going on and why,” he says. “I don’t know if we’re going to accomplish anything, but that’s what we’re doing. That’s all we can do. For a week, see what happens.”

Morales says he has shrimp on his boat, on ice, that he’s selling to individual customers. They show up with ice chests to fill. It’s a much less efficient way to sell shrimp. But it can help him get through the week, until the work stoppage ends.

Support for coastal reporting on WWNO comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Kabacoff Family Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.