Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries recently announced the August 18 opening of white shrimp season, and Delcambre shrimpers’ expectation of a plentiful and prosperous harvest is at an all-time high!
Anticipation for a successful shrimp harvest this season is attributable to a number of factors. One of those being the recent launch of the Delcambre Direct Seafood program and its accompanying website. The program began approximately two years ago and is a collaboration between the Twin Parish Port Commission, the LSU AgCenter and Sea Grant. Through the Delcambre Direct program, training classes were provided to shrimpers and other local fisherman who learned about successful marketing through online social media. In addition, they were trained on how to post directly to the Delcambre Direct Seafood website where the public can now be directly notified when the boats have docked, what fresh catch is available, how much was harvested, as well as contact information to obtain the catch. With the public now able to purchase directly from the boats, either along the Delcambre Canal docks or the available slips near the newly opened boat launch, purchasing fresh wild-caught seafood couldn’t be easier.
Another reason for shrimpers’ high hopes of a successful season hinges on the unfortunate circumstances our foreign competitors are now facing. For example, last winter the Asian shrimp market received a heavy blow after a virus called Early Mortality Syndrome devastated most of its product, resulting in a low supply of shrimp being imported into the U.S., which in turn caused a dramatic increase in price and sales of shrimp in the American market. Due to their bad luck, the high demand of American product has increased shrimp prices upwards of 61% from earlier this year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, which is great news for local shrimpers. Wendell Verret, Director of the Port of Delcambre, says the price of shrimp has risen anywhere from $3 to $6 a pound, great news for Delcambre commerce. Further, according to Verret, early reports from Delcambre shrimpers are looking favorable toward a good harvest. “We must had five boats that came in with good-sized shrimp and then medium to small and fairly good quantities”, Verret said.
So with the increased demand of shrimp from American consumers, and the resulting elevated increase in price, as well as Delcambre fishermen’s ability to now immediately notify the public directly through social media of their catch, our local shrimpers and fisherman our excited about what this season has to offer. We wish them all the best of luck!