Official: LA Shrimp Get Good Sustainability Preview Marks
HOUMA, LA (AP) — Two programs have given Louisiana shrimp generally good marks for sustainability, a state official says.
Damon Morris, strategic program manager at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said Louisiana's shrimp, says the only negative marks were two from the Marine Stewardship and Conservation program, which wanted more detailed data.
But, he said, those were in a "pre-assessment" and may have been cleared up.
Louisiana's shrimp fisheries got all green marks from the Audubon Nature Institute, Morris told The Courier’s Sean Ellis.
Morris said sustainability assessments were first seen as a way into niche markets, but retailers now tell him products won't sell at all unless a rating indicates that the fishery is being managed so that the species can thrive.
The Shrimp Task Force authorized the pre-assessments in December.
Shrimp Task Force chairman Clint Guidry griped that U.S. businesses must "jump through hoops" to prove good management even though nothing on the state or federal levels says otherwise.
"When you're dealing with entities, when on this hand they are wanting us to do all this stuff and on the other hand, they're buying shrimp from a country like Thailand and they're using antibiotics and slave labor and that's OK until someone writes something and brings it to their attention," he said.
However, Guidry said the Task Force has always worked toward certification if it improves the market.
Congress passed a bill Thursday aimed at helping local shrimpers by calling on the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to be more active in policing imported seafood. .