Sky high shrimp and oyster prices loom in Louisiana’s future

lover of Louisiana seafood, especially oysters and shrimp, will soon be paying even more for these delicacies from the Gulf of Mexico in the months, years and maybe even decades to come. But in return for those high prices, Louisiana may get something even more valuable. Something more valuable is our state’s vanishing shoreline, and I think we can all agree that that’s something more valuable than the price of a shrimp platter or a fried oyster po’boy.

Shrimp Poboy

Olde Tyme grocery store

construction one of the most aggressive plans to restore the Louisiana coast could start as early as March this year. And according to a study by the Army Corps of Engineers, part of the “cost” of this project will come in the form of significantly higher shrimp and oyster prices to produce from the area around Barataria Bay.

This part of the Louisiana coast has long been heralded as a major producer of shrimp and oysters, although over the past 10 years, shrimp production in the region has declined by about 30% and oyster production by about half.

What is causing the high shrimp and oyster prices?

if not reasonably priced Gulf Shrimp and Gulf Oysters I can tell you from personal experience that they don’t come cheap. The implementation of the $2.5 billion sediment diversion at Mid-Barataria will push those prices even higher. For many in the Louisiana seafood industry, it’s a given that the Prices will rise too high for many consumers.

Denis Dwyer via YouTube

Denis Dwyer via YouTube

What is the Mid-Barataria sediment diversion?

This is the latest plan approved by the State of Louisiana and the Army Corps of Engineers to restore Louisiana’s eroding coastline. Estimated project that will divert water from the Mississippi River through a section of the levee in Plaquemines Parish. The mud-laden river water will flow through the swamps, depositing enough silt and sediment Enliven approximately 21 square miles of marshland along the coast.

Why will sediment diversion at Mid-Barataria push up shrimp and oyster prices?

The influx of sediment-laden river water into the swamps off Barataria Bay will drive shrimp to deeper Gulf waters. That means Shrimp fishermen will spend more time and money sail out to harvest them. The Army Corp of Engineers estimates that the silt and sediment will likely choke out some existing oyster beds, reducing the amount of available product that fishermen can harvest.

What are the benefits of sediment diversion in Mid-Barataria?

The obvious benefit is the restoration of the Louisiana coast. It is estimated that an area of ​​land the size of the state of Delaware has been lost to coastal erosion. This will slow the erosion process and help create new land areas. And if a project of this magnitude doesn’t get underway, the state’s coastline could lose twice as much land as we’ve already lost.

KATC via YouTube

KATC via YouTube

Public hearings on the project are already planned.

If you want to express your thoughts, Either for or against the project, you can attend a public hearing. One is scheduled for January 31 in Baton Rouge and one for February 2 in Houma. A public hearing is scheduled for New Orleans on February 7, and Southwest Louisiana will have the opportunity to sound at a public hearing in Lake Charles scheduled for February 16.

While the long-term profits are quite promising, things are getting tough for Louisiana fish farming families and those who love delicious Louisiana seafood. Fishermen have to seek out new areas and bear the additional costs. These costs must be passed on to consumers. Then consumers will decide whether they are willing to pay the price for Louisiana seafood or whether they will opt for cheaper imported seafood.

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