Local Shrimpers Fear Effects Of Free Trade - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/27/03

Local Shrimpers Fear Effects Of Free Trade

Some Gulf coast fishermen are worried that a proposed trade agreement will hurt their already sinking profits. On Saturday, a group of Louisiana shrimpers took to the streets of New Orleans in protest. They're upset about a trade agreement the United States is considering with five Central American countries. It's called the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA. The agreement would lift some tariffs between the U.S. and Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador. Some local shrimpers said the government is offering "free trade" at their expense.

Biloxi shrimper Mike Williams recently scaled back his operation. He said fuel, deck hand wages and other expenses were eating up his catch. To help pay bills, he got a job on land.

"I'm the weekend warrior now, when the wind blows and all during the week, I've got that full time job and then weekends I go out and run the boat a little bit instead of just leaving it tied up," said Williams. "Last night I went out and just barely made my money back to pay for the fuel."

Several shrimpers said, of all the factors hurting their industry, cheap imports are the worst. They're not thrilled that the U.S. could strike a deal with Central America similar to the one it has with Mexico and Canada.

"It would be worse. It would hurt the fisherman more and they're slowly running us out of business as it is," said shrimper Mark Skrmetta.

The foreign shrimp are hurting the business of American fisherman. Gulf Coast shrimpers may see low prices fall even more, as trade negotiations wrap up early next year.

Williams is hoping for the best. He said, "You never know from day to day what's gonna happen and it's hard to judge which way it's gonna go."

Some customers said the United States should do all it can to protect its shrimpers even if it meant they would pay higher prices. Others said the world is headed to a global economy and the country will just have to get used to it.

by Danielle Thomas

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Approaching winter weather forces schools to dismiss early

    Approaching winter weather forces schools to dismiss early

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 12:19 PM EST2018-01-16 17:19:09 GMT
    Some South Mississippi school administrators are dismissing schools early because of the approaching winter blast. (Photo Source: WLOX)Some South Mississippi school administrators are dismissing schools early because of the approaching winter blast. (Photo Source: WLOX)

    Another winter blast reaches South Mississippi Tuesday. The forecast includes the possibility of snow and ice in several counties in South Mississippi. So, some school administrators are taking no chances.

    More >>

    Another winter blast reaches South Mississippi Tuesday. The forecast includes the possibility of snow and ice in several counties in South Mississippi. So, some school administrators are taking no chances.

    More >>
  • CMR establishes 'No Wake Zone' in Davis Bayou

    CMR establishes 'No Wake Zone' in Davis Bayou

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:58 AM EST2018-01-16 16:58:56 GMT
    In the very near future, signs will be erected in Davis Bayou in Ocean Springs establishing a boating no wake zone on property near the Gulf Coast Research Lab.  (Photo source: WLOX)In the very near future, signs will be erected in Davis Bayou in Ocean Springs establishing a boating no wake zone on property near the Gulf Coast Research Lab.  (Photo source: WLOX)

    In the very near future, signs will be erected in Davis Bayou in Ocean Springs establishing a boating no wake zone on property near the Gulf Coast Research Lab. 

    More >>

    In the very near future, signs will be erected in Davis Bayou in Ocean Springs establishing a boating no wake zone on property near the Gulf Coast Research Lab. 

    More >>
  • Cold weather impacting crawfish supply

    Cold weather impacting crawfish supply

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:41 AM EST2018-01-16 16:41:38 GMT
    (Cold weather is impacting the supply of crawfish. Photo source; WLOX News)(Cold weather is impacting the supply of crawfish. Photo source; WLOX News)

    This Mardi Gras you may be eating more king cake than crawfish. One seafood vendor on the coast said they're only selling them a few days out of the week. But they're confident the supply will improve. 

    More >>

    This Mardi Gras you may be eating more king cake than crawfish. One seafood vendor on the coast said they're only selling them a few days out of the week. But they're confident the supply will improve. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly