Wetlands and our Seafood Industry
A BRIEF HISTORY OF COMMERCIAL FISHING IN LOUISIANA
Since the 1800s, Louisiana has had a thriving commercial seafood industry in which the catching and selling of crabs, shrimp, oysters, both freshwater and saltwater finfish, alligator and crawfish has supported the livelihood of many families and communities. Before refrigeration became readily available in the early 1800s, the exporting of seafood products was difficult. Most seafood products were consumed locally and in New Orleans markets and restaurants. With the development of more sophisticated transportation and freezing techniques in the latter 20th century, Louisiana Seafood was able to be shipped and consumed far beyond. Commercial fishing in Louisiana provides seafood for much of the U.S. Louisiana accounts for 25 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. The state also holds a record of 1.9 billion pounds taken in in one year, making it the greatest catch ever recorded.
THE IMPACT OF A SPECIES
SHRIMP ..... The shrimp industry accounts for 15,000 jobs and an annual impact of $1.3 billion for Louisiana.
OYSTERS ..... Seventy percent of the oysters caught in the U.S. are from the Gulf Coast. Louisiana’s commercial oyster industry, which accounts for almost 4,000 jobs, has an economic impact of $317 million annually.
CRABS .....Crabs from Louisiana generate an annual economic impact of $293 million and more than 3,000 jobs.
CRAWFISH ..... Louisiana has more than 1,000 crawfish farmers, plus more than 800 commercial fishermen who catch wild crawfish. The 110 million pounds of crawfish harvested each year have an annual economic impact of $120 million.
ALLIGATOR ..... 313,000 wild and farmed alligators are harvested per year in Louisiana. Alligator harvests have a total annual economic impact of $104 million.