Although the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch labeled wild Louisiana shrimp as a product to avoid, Louisiana seafood industry leaders spoke out Tuesday, saying the shrimp are just as edible as ever.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium placed Louisiana shrimp on its list because the state does not require shrimpers to have turtle exclusion devices, but Jacques Berry, communication director in the office of the Lieutenant Governor, said the state does limit how long shrimpers can cast their nets.
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said the advisory from the independent group affects shrimp retailers, but consumers should not be wary.
Every other state bordering the Gulf of Mexico enforces the devices, Berry said.
Berry said shrimpers are allowed a time limit to have their nets in the water to ensure sustainable fisheries.
After the time limit, fishermen pull the nets out and if there are sea turtles in the net, they pull them out, Berry said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 198 turtles have been stranded so far this year. One of their major threats is the accidental capture in recreational and commercial fisheries.
Dardenne maintains the shrimp are still a premium product.
“There is no impact whatsoever on the quality or quantity of Louisiana seafood,” Dardenne said.
Dardenne emphasized that this list creates an issue of perception, but steps are always being taken toward more sustainable fishing.