A group out of California could put a huge dent in Louisiana's shrimping industry, but not without a fight.
The advocacy group Monterey Bay Aquarium, which runs the Seafood Watch program, put Louisiana caught shrimp on their “Avoid List”. The quality of our shrimp is not in question but rather a law.
That 1987 law prohibits state agents from enforcing federal requirements that shrimpers use Turtle Excluder Devices. Those devices are designed to prevent sea turtles from drowning in nets. Even though they are not enforced here, they are widely used.
According to Thomas Hymel, Marine Agent with LSU Ag and Louisiana Sea Grant Program, the coast guard has a strong enforcement program in all Louisiana waters and shrimpers wouldn't dare go out without those recommended devices.
Louisiana is the only gulf state on the list and will remain there until that law is changed.