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News: 2005

Help Available to Fight Imported Shrimp in the Marketplace
Posted: 1/25/05

Commercial shrimpers and processors have been fighting the influx of live and fresh frozen shrimp from abroad on state, regional, and national levels. Recently, the Foreign Agricultural Service has certified that increasing imports of frozen and fresh whole shrimp contributed to a decline in the landed price of shrimp in Louisiana during 2003 when compared to 1998-2002, making some Louisiana shrimp producers eligible for training and cash benefits in 2005.

In the short term, Louisiana Sea Grant and the LSU Agricultural Center are providing a workshop to help shrimpers secure federal financial assistance and in-state training to compensate for losses in 2003 and 2004, and a Web site to make available information and training materials to prevent future losses. In the long term, university scientists, shrimpers, processors, and regulators together are developing a certification program to ensure that the quality of Gulf of Mexico fresh frozen shrimp is so high that it captures and holds the top position on the world market.

Financial assistance and training
A workshop in Louisiana describing TAA benefits will be at the Belle Chasse Auditorium (8398 Belle Chasse Hwy./ Hwy. 23 near the Belle Chasse ferry landing) on Thursday, January 27, 2005, at 9 a.m. for shrimpers who might be eligible for government payments and training. The workshop provides information on who is eligible and how they can receive these benefits. A similar workshop was held January 19th at the Cameron Parish Police Jury Annex.

Shrimpers can apply for TAA benefits between January 10 and April 11, 2005, at a local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. Offices in Louisiana are located in Franklinton, 985/839-5687, Edgard, 985/497-3311, Thibodaux, 985/446-6226, Franklin, 337/828-0493, New Iberia, 337/369-3234, St. Martinville, 337/332-2811, Abbeville, 337/893-5781, and Lake Charles, 337/436-5020.

Program to prevent future losses
Louisiana Sea Grant and the LSU Agricultural Center have begun to work with shrimpers and processors to develop a shrimp product certification program. Details about the development of this program, and copies of the training materials are now available online at http://www.seagrantfish.lsu.edu/management/LAshrimp.htm

Development of the certification program includes interviews with individual fishermen and processors, meetings with industry associations, visits to processing plants and buying docks, and fishing trips on board shrimp vessels. The program is also using information about shrimp markets and product forms, critical quality attributes, and individual handling processes to devise safe, practical catch, handling and preserving methods that ensure top quality product.

For more information, contact:

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