Hurricane Ida struck the heart of Louisiana’s seafood industry as a Category 4 hurricane, wiping out homes, boats, trucks, plants and icehouses. Oyster farmers on Grand Isle lost their entire crop, processing plants from Grand Isle to Dulac lay in ruin and almost 30% of the shrimping fleet in Golden Meadow lay useless at the start of current shrimp season.
“If the Louisiana seafood industry is to have any life at all in the near future,” said Gulf Seafood Foundation board member Ewell Smith, “it is all about ice.”
“Sixteen-years ago to the date Hurricane Katrina gave a knock-out blow, followed quickly by Hurricane Ike,” explained Smith, who then served as executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. “Besides damaging boats and seafood plants, those two storms knocked out every ice house in the state. We realized to get the fishermen back on the water, we needed to quickly rebuild the ice houses.”
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