Lt. governor details new push to help local shrimpers

Shrimpers say they can barely get by after the price of shrimp dropped to an all-time low.

"We just need a price for our shrimp, so that we can make a fair, honest living," says Troy Parria.

Last Friday, hundreds of shrimpers got together in Houma begging for help.

"They're right. When you look historically, nothing has gone up and down like the shrimp prices, and a lot has to do with the flood of the imports," says Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser.

Nungesser says he's tried for years to get help for the local shrimpers in Washington, but nothing has worked. Now, he wants to take a different approach and make it a national health issue.

"What these shrimp are grown in, in a foreign country, you wouldn't eat them. They're treating them with antibiotics. They're loaded with antibiotics," says Nungesser.

Nungesser says less than 10 percent of imported seafood is inspected, and more could be done.

"So, what we're proposing, and I'm asking first Jefferson Parish and then every council in the state to pass a resolution, demanding our senators and congressmen introduce and pass an inspection fee for 5 or 10 percent on imported seafood," says Nungesser.

He also wants to hire more inspectors to make that happen.

"Hopefully we don't get fought by lobbyists and won't get lip service in Washington, because this has been going on for years," says Nungesser.

"I like what I hear, which is to put an inspection fee on the shrimp. The shrimp is not being inspected," says Sen. John Kennedy.

Kennedy attended the meeting last week and said he'll draft an inspection bill soon.

"We've got to get something done. We draw up a lot of bills in Washington and Baton Rouge and sometimes good bills get rejected. Failure is not an option," says Nungesser.

Nungesser believes the inspections will result in the rejection of a lot of imported shrimp and in turn help local shrimpers.

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