They’re asking for all the help they can get. Local shrimpers gather for a day of prayer in the annual Blessing of the Fleet. Immigration concerns and a shortage of seasonal workers could devastate the industry.
According to the Texas Shrimp Association there is a 96 percent chance that a U.S. citizen that has never been to sea will ask, return and leave the industry. This leaves many local shrimpers dependent on seasonal workers.
However, with only 15,000 seasonal workers, the agency says only about 30 percent of fishermen would be receiving workers they need.
Andrea Hance – Texas Shrimp Association says, “If there isn’t legislative changes moving forward we will not have seasonal foreign workers next year. We anticipate this is going to cost our industry about a million dollars a day.”
According to the state agency one of the biggest challenges to local shrimpers is foreign shrimp. They recommend asking your local store or restaurant where the shrimp comes from.