Shrimper urges community to support local markets

DELCAMBRE, La. (KLFY) — For years, the shrimping industry has struggled with imported products beginning to take over. One shrimper spoke out about how more people need to support local fishermen before it is too late.

Tyler Nelton, a local shrimper, says local shrimpers are having a hard time competing with the prices of imported shrimp.

“They always want to laugh at our price, but they’ll go buy at Walmart. They will pay it at a restaurant. It doesn’t matter because it’s a big business. Whenever it’s a person, ‘Oh well You don’t matter. We don’t need to pay you that top dollar.’ But they’ll go pay it at a store,” Nelton explained.

Many fishermen are getting out of the seafood industry as they say it is not worth the hard work with low pay. Nelton is on one of the last boats in Delcambre still out trolling. He says the only way he is even able to stay on the water is because of retail consumers. He says it helps, but it is still not enough because the docks they sell to and other stores prefer imports.

“At the dock we just can’t do it,” Nelton said.

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According to Nelton and other shrimpers in the area, shrimp of all sizes are being sold at 50 cents a pound right now. With fuel prices, maintenance, and paying the crew, being able to make a living as a commercial fisherman is becoming more difficult than ever.

“Go look on marketplace type in shrimp. See how many you see for sale. Cheap! (you) Can’t even give them away. Nobody wants to do this no more all because of the prices,” said Nelton.

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