West Coast Shrimp Shortage Causes Fishermen to Look Inward for Sales

The shrimp industry is depending on the United States market to pull them through the current slump of price and supply decline. A recent report by expert seafood analyst John Sackton shows trouble on the horizon due to fewer catches and slower sales.


“2017 will be a difficult year for West Coast shrimp,” says Executive Director of West Coast Seafood Processors Association Lori Steele. “There are a number of significant challenges affecting the market and pricing.”


One of the challenges is the amount of shrimp captured in 2016. While fishers caught some of the sea creatures, there were not able to meet their quota for shrimp this year. Such deficit means that inventory from last year will need to be combined so that the impact in the grocery market can be significant.


For the most part, reliance is on the United States’ love of shrimp. About one-third of shrimp caught on the West Coast is exported to other countries. The rest of the supply, around 40 to 60 percent, is purchased by way of retail in the United States.


Fishermen on the West Coast get most of their inventory from the height of Alaska to the depths of California. Such is the reason why the State of Oregon has committed to finding a solution to the shortage of shrimp supply this year. Discussions between fisherman and processors began last month, and it appears that the industry is in en route to survive and possibly thrive this shrimp season.


“We very much appreciate Oregon’s leadership in bringing everyone together to discuss the market challenges we all face,” Steele says. “We’re confident the talks will be productive so consumers can soon have fresh West Coast shrimp on their plates.”


Earnings should be stable if the domestic demand for shrimp remains at about 330 million pounds at around $7 per pound. Industry participants are hopeful that the retail market will make this shrimp season great.