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July 26, 2015

United States

Texas—Shrimp Fishermen Complain about Imports of Farmed Shrimp

 

The Texas Gulf shrimp industry continues struggling to differentiate its product in the marketplace.  Andrea Hance, executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association, said restaurants regularly pass off pond-raised imported shrimp as wild-caught Gulf shrimp.  “Personally I experience that about 90 percent of the time when I go out to eat,” Hance said.  “Some people have an allergic reaction to the chemicals used in imported, farm-raised shrimp.  The minute you tell them that, they’re going to change their answer.”

 

She thinks the domestic industry as a whole has done a good job educating consumers and that most people are willing to pay a little more for wild-caught Gulf shrimp, though getting a straight answer out of the seller can be a challenge, Hance said.

 

“We need the consumer to demand Gulf shrimp,” she said.  “The problem is Texas doesn’t really have strict laws in terms of the way they package the shrimp.  They don’t have to tell you where the shrimp are from, so that’s what we’re running into.”  Hance said she’d like to see Texas adopt something along the lines of the Bayou State’s “Certified Authentic Louisiana” labeling for shrimp.  “We just want the people to know what their choices are when they eat,” she said.

 

Hance said Louisiana’s shrimp seafood industry brings in about 55 million to 60 million pounds a year.  Texas shrimp fleets catch less, maybe 45 million to 50 million pounds a year, though the value is typically more because the shrimp are larger, she said.

 

Source: The Monitor.  Local Shrimp Industry Confronting Multiple Challenges.  Steve Clark (email sclark@brownsvilleherald.com).  July 24, 2015.

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