This extends the five-year reprieve for gulf shrimpers who have been hit with one catastrophe after another and are still recovering from the oil spill that began last April.
The import tax keeps the price of domestic shrimp more competitive with that of the foreign supply at a time when shrimpers need every penny they can get. While the tariff has not allowed fishermen to increase their market share, it has helped them hold on.
In fishing these days, that’s often the best one can hope for.
Speaking of best hopes, our hearts go out to those on the West Coast who were affected by the tsunami. Crescent City, Calif., and Brookings, Ore., took the brunt of the damage stateside.
Susan Chambers, deputy director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, visited both harbors early this week. Check out some of her photos on our home page. Her Dock Talk piece on the effects and fallout from these two fishing ports appears in our upcoming May issue.
Let us not forget that fishermen are ever at the mercy of the powerful forces of nature. I hope that encourages fishermen to be safer at sea and also give those who look down on the industry a moment’s pause before striking out at the hardworking members of our fishing fleets.