Shrimp season to kick off this month in Louisiana
Starting on 23 May at 6 a.m. local time, inshore shrimpers across the state of Louisiana will be permitted to begin their spring season.
The decision comes from the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, which voted on 5 May to go ahead with a universal opening that won’t be staggered among shrimp zones for the second year in a row, reported Nola.com.
The move to go ahead with an un-staggered opening opposes Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries data, which found that an earlier opening would benefit certain areas such as with the Barataria, Timbalier, Terrebonne and the Vermilion-Teche basins. Shrimp would reach harvestable size in the Barataria, Timbalier and Terrebonne basins on or before 16 May, according to the data presented by department biologist Jeff Marx.
Area shrimp sourcers like Dean Blanchard, who owns a dock in Grand Isle, have argued that a 16 May opening would have been far too early.
"The brown-shrimp season should never be opened until the first two crops leave Grand Isle," Blanchard said to Nola.com. "They're running 168 to the pound right now. We finally got some salt water two weeks ago. Let's let them grow. All of my people are saying wait until (23 May)."
"If I'm going to go broke, I'd rather go broke laying on my sofa," Blanchard added.
David Chauvin, who owns an unloading facility in Dulac, had been pushing for a 9 May opener, noting that his area is often inundated with leftover white shrimp when the season starts later.
"We would like to start earlier. We don't want to take the chance of those white shrimp leaving the bays without us getting a chance to capitalize on them,” Chauvin told Nola.com.