SABINE PASS, Texas — With an an influx of imported shrimp taking over the market, it's becoming tougher for Southeast Texas shrimpers to survive.
Since July 16, the Texas waters opened back up for fishing, but Eric Kyle Kimball's boat "The Seahorse" has yet to leave the dock at the Sabine Pass Port Authority.
Kimball is a third generation fisherman who's been around the industry for 55 years. This career help provides for him and his family, with brown shrimp being the main source of income.
"We don't mind doing it, because that's what we have done our whole lives," he said.
Shrimp imported from across the globe are driving prices down from $3.75 per pound in the 80's to 95 cents per pound, currently.
After paying for fuel and deck hands, area fisherman can't break even.
"This boat is cheap to run, and it's probably coming in at $40 an hour in just fuel to run and it's a small boat. Some of those larger boats back there you are talking in the park of $80 to $100 an hour," Kimball said.
A&M Agricultural Adjacents noticed this is a huge problem and issued a declaration of emergency.
Nikki Fitzgerald helps with the area fisherman.
"Lots of counties in Texas including Matagorda and Cameron Parish have decaled disaster for fisheries. So have places in Louisiana and Florida. This is not only a Texas issue, but a gulf and national issue," she said.
In 2022, they have 7.83 billion dollars in importing shrimp-- coming from numerous countries. pushing out local fisherman.
"The problem is that there is so much imports, that they have flooded this country to where we don't have enough people to eat what's being imported. Therefore, they don't really want what we have," Fitzgerald said.
Now, the Shrimping Association hopes to continue their fight for fair representation to be able to make a living.