The Sad Truth About Louisiana’s Crawfish Season
In the state of Louisiana, I think the only two words that excite the population more than the words "crawfish season" would be the words "football season". Yeah, it's true, we do personify that stereotype rather well. Right now we are in that in-between season, soon to be known as "hurricane season".
No, different kind of hurricane season.
But before we leave the steaming ice chests of rosy red crustaceans in favor of barbeque, cracklin, and other things related to pigskin let's take a minute and consider the sad truth about this year's crawfish season.
For a lot of you, you're probably wondering, "What the heck was wrong with the crawfish season"? And as a consumer, you probably wouldn't know. The sad truth about the current crawfish season isn't related to availability or even quantity or quality. The sad truth about this crawfish season is what is happening to our Louisiana crawfish producers.
The Chairman of the Louisiana Crawfish Promotion Board David Savoy who hails from Church Point Louisiana recently sat down with Don Molino of the Louisiana Radio Network and explained why this has been the worst season in about four decades.
It's not the crawfish, it's not the size...but the sales are absolutely horrible and we could live with that if the price wasn't a dollar and a quarter to a dollar thirty-five.
You read that correctly, Louisiana crawfish producers are getting only $1.25 to $1.35 a pound for their time and trouble. Meanwhile, at the restaurant level, they are getting an average price of $4.66 a pound boiled and crawfish distributors are getting a price of $2.52 per pound for live crawfish.
That disparity between what crawfish producers are getting and what consumers are paying is very concerning to Savoy and those in the crawfish industry. And when you consider that just about everything a crawfish fisherman needs to grow and harvest a crop has gone up in price, you can see why the season has been less than spectacular.
To quote David Savoy again:
The cost of everything we touch has gone up...and our crawfish are 1970s prices.
Lord knows our Louisiana crawfishing families can't make a living in 2023 selling their catch at prices that were more in line with those around the country's bicentennial. Or when the movie Grease was in theatres.
As far as what we can do as consumers, the bottom line is we need to keep enjoying Louisiana crawfish as long as the season will allow. We need to buy our crawfish from locally sourced suppliers. And, we need to make sure that we read the label on every package of crawfish we buy and make sure those crawfish were harvested and processed by Louisiana companies.
Oh, and keep a good thought for all the guys and gals that are still checking those traps so that we can have one last big boil before the summer heat really sets in.
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