Flooding, pollution devastating state’s fishing industry

CYPREMORT POINT, La. (KLFY)- Even with the delayed opening of the Morganza Spillway, fishermen in Acadiana say they’ve been feeling the affects of flooding for months.

News 10 spoke with the Louisiana Shrimp Association about how flooding is affecting their industry.

Up until Thursday, not much was said about relief for fisherman as fresh water inundates areas they fish to make a living.

Thursday, Governor John Bel Edwards said fishermen around the state are experiencing 90 percent  loss.

In Cypremont Point, commercial fisherman Thomas Olander says on a normal Friday during shrimp season the bay is filled with shrimp boats and shrimp for local shoppers. 

Because of recent flooding, there’s not a single shrimp in sight.

“With all of the runoff with fertilizer and all the towns that are being flooded now with fresh water running through the towns It’s just polluted and it’s causing one of the largest dead zones probably ever recorded,” he explained. 

Olander says they’re at a 100 percent loss.

This is a first in the 48 years his family has been in the shrimping business, he said. 

“And now we have nothing to offer our fellow brothers in seafood.”

Governor Edwards says Wildlife and Fisheries agents are collecting data from fisherman facing loses.

As soon as the required burden is met, a request for financial assistance will be made to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

“But we have to capture all the data first,” Gov. Edwards said. “Otherwise, it’s preliminary and then you might ask for assistance and it would not be as much assistance as you would be entitled to. We want to do it right, we want you to meet our burden, we want to ask for all of the assistance of the fishermen are entitled to.”

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