With all the attention on New Orleans (which is deserved) it is easy to forget what neighboring parishes are going through. Yesterday around one hundred shrimpers gathered at the state capitol in Baton Rouge to call for investigation into price fixing on the price of shrimp, which they say is at 1950’s levels. You didn’t hear about this in the local media because by and large they didn’t show up, and FSRN hasn’t taken the story yet.
So in addition to having to repair their homes and deal with the devastation that Katrina and Rita dealt these shrimpers, which are the backbone of the economies in many of rural south Louisiana communities, are having to deal with the economic hardships of having to compete with cheap imported shrimp and potentially price fixing by processors.
My good friend Brian Marks wrote his masters thesis on the economic effects of globalization in the shrimp industry. I talked with him yesterday after our trip to Baton Rouge.
Brian Marks interview
Also on the trip we ran into George Barisich, head of the United Commercial Fishermen’s Association and a board member of Lousiana Shrimp Association, which threw the protest.
George Barisich interview
Also, Brian’s thesis on the impacts of globalization on south Louisiana shrimpers is online as a .pdf