Shrimp And Petroleum Festival – Still Finding A Reason To Celebrate
It's a festival in Morgan City that was created to celebrate two of Louisiana's most iconic industries. The oil business and the business of shrimping. For years both of these pursuits have put money in the pockets of those that choose to be involved with them. This year neither the oil industry or the shrimp industry has had much of a reason to celebrate.
Dr. Loren Scott and economist with LSU told the Louisiana Radio Network why both shrimping and the oil business are dealing with hard times.
The shrimp folks are struggling because of lower priced shrimp being imported from other countries and, of course, the oil and gas industry in that sector is really down because of the low oil prices.
When asked about which industry might begin to see a turn around the soonest. Scott suggested that the oil and gas industry probably has the best chance for a quicker turn around. He suggested the current price per barrel of oil will not remain this low forever.
If it gets back up into the $60 - $65 range, then I think you'll see a recovery in the Gulf of Mexico, but it probably won't happen until well into 2016.
If the oil industry analyst are forecasting a 2016 recovery time frame what about the less funded and more family owned operations that fish the Gulf of Mexico for shrimp? Just to give you an idea of how far off the price is for shrimp. Last year shrimpers in Louisiana were getting $4.70 a pound at the dock this year the average price is $1.30. The reason for the distinct drop in price is the influx of imported shrimp.
Regardless, the festival will go on this weekend in Morgan City. Despite the tougher than usual economic times those in the shrimp and the oil industry will be there determined not to let the current situation put a damper on the fun. We are very resilient people and a little adversity may slow us down but it will never stop us completely.