According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the seafood industry in St. Bernard Parish alone is running at less than one third of its annual average from 2000-2009, which includes seasons interrupted by major hurricanes. The amount of boats going out, the amount of product coming in, and the economic value of the industry is down by more than 66% as a direct result of the BP oil spill.
Before the spill, between 2000-2009, an average of $155.8 million of shrimp came into the docks of St. Bernard Parish annually. Yet in the first half of 2010, only $40.9 million of shrimp have passed across those same docks.
The drop in production is due to a lack of boats shrimping on the Gulf of Mexico, not a lack of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico. The decade’s average was 72,018 trips a year but there have only been 12,274 trips, or 17% of annual average, through June of 2010. Even if that number was doubled in anticipation for the second half of the shrimping season, the amount of trips would still be only one third of the decade’s annual average.