Shrimpers back on the job without a resolution - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Shrimpers back on the job without a resolution

Warren Delacroix has been shrimping since he was 8 years old, and he's seen the ups and downs of the industry. He says slipping shrimp prices have created hardships for fishermen.

"All over the United States, shrimp prices haven't fallen, but the prices are falling for the factories here," says Delacroix.

On Sept. 5, the Louisiana Shrimp Association called a meeting after the price per pound dropped almost $2.

"It was the biggest turnout that we've had so far to get people unified," says Delacroix.

Hundreds of shrimpers showed up.

"We want to make money. We want to support our families to have a better life than we have right now, because right now, you can say it's just about nothing," says Nathan Cheramie.

Fisherman say they're getting about $1.80 per pound for small shrimp from processors. According to the association, shrimpers were getting almost $3 for the same catch at the start of the season.

The shrimpers decided it was time to keep their boats tied up for a week to send a message. The protest, though, didn't last long, and most shrimpers were back on the water by Tuesday.

"Some people have to go out and make a living, and we understand that. A certain amount of people went out and a certain amount of people stood in. Is that good for the industry? I don't know," says Delacroix.

A processor told FOX 8, that they recognize that shrimpers are vital to the survival of the industry. They say they try to pay as much as they can, but competing with the foreign shrimp import industry is tough.

Delacroix says something has to change.

"Motors have gone up. Fiberglass has gone up. The cost of living is steadily increasing. Yet the cost of shrimp has stayed below," says Delacroix.

He worries what will happen to the future of what he calls a dying breed of local shrimpers.

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