Louisiana shrimpers, some of the hardest working people in our state are struggling to do the job many were born to do. The reason for their struggles appears to have nothing to do with their work ethic but is more about the post-pandemic economic situation our country finds itself in right now.

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Some shrimpers are even questioning whether it's worth it to fire up their boats and head out to make a catch. Reporter Amma Siriboe of KPLC in Lake Charles caught up with a couple of Cameron Parish shrimpers and you can feel the angst in their words.

The biggest issue in the current shrimp conundrum is one that we are all facing. That is high fuel prices. As you might imagine it takes quite a bit of fuel to put a shrimp boat out in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you couple that with plummeting prices on the shrimp market it's no wonder so many of our Louisiana shrimping families are having a tough go in an already tough industry.

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Experts at the LSU AgCenter are blaming the low market prices on the pandemic. If you recall during the height of the pandemic supplies of shrimp were low. That led restauranteurs and other users of shrimp to search elsewhere for shrimp. Unfortunately, they found very cheap imports from places Ecuador and Indonesia and many of those buyers have not come back to buying Louisiana-produced shrimp.

If there is an upside for homegrown producers and fishermen it might be this. Many shrimpers are now avoiding the middle man, they're selling their catch themselves and not relying on a wholesaler to offer them a cheap price.

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Hopefully, profit margins will begin to turn around since fuel prices are showing a significant drop compared to where they were even a month ago. We know the quality of Louisiana shrimp and if you're not reading the label and supporting our in-state producers then shame on you.  Shop local doesn't apply to just Christmas gifts, it applies to all products that can be made, manufactured, or harvested here in Louisiana, let's help take care of our own.

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