Shrimpers decry low prices, damage caused by shrimp imports

Dozens of Louisiana shrimpers – ranging from Vietnamese-Americans to Cajun fishermen – upset over low prices and farm-raised shrimp imports rallied Wednesday in downtown New Orleans to highlight their industry’s woes.

Shrimpers spoke out at a meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, a body of industry and government representatives which regulates fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. The group is meeting in New Orleans this week.

Dressed in T-shirts reading, “Domestic Shrimpers Need Fair Prices For Quality Organic Shrimp,” the shrimpers chanted: “Demand Gulf shrimp!”

The shrimpers say they’re struggling in the face of a flood of cheap farm-raised imported shrimp, market uncertainties, hurricanes and high fuel prices.

Last year the price of shrimp was good, but shrimpers say they’re facing a dramatic price drop this year.

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