It’s been a while since shrimpers from the Rio Grande Valley have seen a poor shrimp season. The Texas shrimp season just started 4 months ago.
Andrea Hance is a shrimper who says, “A lot of the boats right now are having to go all across the gulf to find the areas where the shrimp are.”
This season Hance says their production is down 40%. The decrease in production along with the increase in competition from foreign farm raised shrimp is taking a toll on the industry. Hance says foreign import shrimp sellers under cut local shrimpers by about 20% which makes Valley shrimpers lose out on business to restaurants who want a cheaper product.
Hance says, “We’re trying to work out a better system to where when the consumer goes to a restaurant and they want to eat American product. American caught wild gulf shrimp. How do they know that it’s actually caught in the waters in the Gulf of Mexico?”
Many crews are having to cut down on members to make up for the slow season. Low gas prices are helping shrimpers keep business moving.
Hance urges people who want support the local shrimp industry to ask for Gulf caught shrimp