Crawfish Production Down

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 11:17pm

As crawfish farmers continue to pull nearly empty traps from their ponds, some worry the season shortage is here to stay.

"From last year’s numbers, we're about 50% down. If you take a ten year average, we're about 60 % down," Louisiana Crawfish Farmer Association Director, Steve Minvielle, said.

Crawfish production is down and prices are up. Local suppliers are concerned about meeting public demand.

"Everybody is getting geared up for Lent and hoping that they have enough for Lent,” Pelicans Operations Manager, Anthony Jenkins, said.

Jenkins says the New Iberia bar usually utilizes their own crawfish supply, but this year, they're being forced to outsource because of hurricane damage to their ponds.

"It was totally devastated. There are no crawfish,” Jenkins said.

And they’re not alone. Today’s weather is not so good for the crawfish crop. It’s windy, rainy and not nearly warm enough. The water needs to be around 65 degrees.

Minvielle says some restaurants have already been forced to close because of the shortage, and farmers fear for the worst.

"If we do not find some better production in the next 45 to 50 days, I will be upside down to the tune of $10,000 to $15,000 this year," Minvielle said.