Louisiana Fisherman Decry Lack of Pandemic Recovery Funding
There aren't too many times someone can offer you $12.4 million dollars and you feel like you've been cheated. However, that's exactly the way a number of Louisiana fishing families and business owners must be feeling this morning after finding out just how badly Louisiana is getting hosed by administrators of the CARES Act Fisheries Funding program.
That program authorized $255 million dollars in federal money to support states whose fishing industries were severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. That's a good thing. Especially when you consider that Louisiana is the second-largest producer of seafood in the country.
Just so you can understand just how distorted the distribution of funds from this federal program actually is, please consider this. Louisiana will receive $12.4 million dollars under the program. Washington state will receive $40 million even though Louisiana has a 50% greater value to our fisheries landings.
So, we are getting about one-third of the money that Washington is getting, yet our state actually has more fisheries and produces more seafood than they do. Hmm, sounds like a government program to me. Oh let's just say what we are all thinking, did some of these states get more money because of how they are politically connected? I can't prove it but I don't think too many of you would disagree with that as a possibility, right?
And one other observation if I may, why the hell is NOAA administering these funds? Aren't they the weather people?
If you're wondering the only state that produces more seafood than Louisiana is Alaska. And to be fair, Washington State is at least in the Top 5. Other states that make up the Top 5 of seafood producers include Maine and Massachusetts. Virginia is also a top seafood producer as well.
The state does have other avenues they can explore to provide additional funding for this key industry but those processes take a lot of time to work through. Protecting the Louisiana seafood industry is not only of economic importance to our state, it's also protecting a way of life. So, we can't sleep on this issue. I would hope that you might reach out to your representative and ask them what they are doing to protect this proud industry and the families that have been the lifeblood of it for so long.
Oh, and since a lot of you will be boiling Louisiana Crawfish this weekend, here's a tip or two to help you do that just like your ma-maw would do.
10 Steps to Boiling Crawfish Like a Pro