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Shrimpers gather at La. capitol to protest rising prices, falling profits

4 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Thursday, May 11 2023 May 11, 2023 May 11, 2023 12:49 PM May 11, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Dozens of local fishermen and women gathered on the steps of the State Capitol Thursday morning to voices worries over the low prices of freshly-caught shrimp and their competition with imported seafood.

The protestors told WBRZ that due to competition and the inability to sell their haul, sometimes they don't make enough money to justify a single fishing trip. 

"Inflation went up, shrimp's down, can't even afford fuel to go out," one protestor said.

"We shouldn't be [at the Capitol] right now," said fisherman Gareth Leblanc. "We should be working."

His brother, Lanvin Leblanc, is a 65-year-old fisherman who has been working in Louisiana waters for 25 years. Lanvin said that if prices stay up for another year, it could be too late. 

"They keep telling us to wait for next year," Lanvin said. "Next year, we're going to be gone."

Leblanc said one fisherman at their dock sold over 5,000 pounds of shrimp but didn't even make enough money to cover his expenses, having to pay $100 out of his own pocket to dock and leaving with no profit. 

"If you can't peddle your shrimp off your boat, you can't go back out," Lanvin said.

Fishermen are frustrated—no one seems able to get a straight answer on who exactly is setting the prices, a problem echoed last year in a WWL-TV report.

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