Louisiana Inshore Shrimp Season Opens as Coronavirus Hits Industry; ‘It’s Just Not Moving’

Louisiana shrimpers started heading out to sea Monday as the fall inshore shrimp season kicked off. But with restaurants closed due to coronavirus, opening day arrived at a time when fewer people are buying shrimp, and prices remain low.

“It’s all about supply and demand,” said Acy Cooper Jr., president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association. Most shrimpers sell their catch to processors, who sell the shrimp to restaurants. But processors haven’t been able to move shrimp out of inventory because of restaurant closures. “It’s just not moving,” Cooper said.

The more shrimp that sits in inventory, the less processors are willing to pay fishers for shrimp at the dock, he said. The federal economic relief package passed in March included $300 million for fisheries, of which nearly $15 million was allocated for Louisiana. But fishers still haven’t seen any of that money.

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