Louisiana Shrimp Association v. Biden
Faraway Washington Bureaucrats Should Not Ignore the Data to Pass Rules Without a Clear Congressional Mandate that Crush Shrimpers for Minimal Environmental Benefit
Acy Cooper has been a shrimper for over 45 years, carrying on a legacy steeped in family tradition. From the age of 15, Acy has been immersed in the waters of Plaquemines Parish, devoting his life to the shrimping vocation that provides both a passion and a means to live. Now, Acy is not only working to deliver the finest Gulf shrimp to dining tables but also striving to protect the essence of Louisiana’s shrimping heritage.
The introduction of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) rule, which mandates the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) on certain skimmer trawl vessels, presents a significant threat to Acy’s community. Though the rule aims to protect marine life, Acy, leading the Louisiana Shrimp Association, argues that it fails to recognize the unique conditions of the shrimping industry. The Association is actively challenging the regulation, coinciding with the Supreme Court’s deliberation on bureaucratic powers in the Loper Bright case.
The shrimping community’s contention is not an opposition to environmental conservation; rather, it is about the NMFS’s perceived negligence to the realities of shrimping and its economic ramifications. Evidence suggests minimal interaction between sea turtles and shrimpers in the areas most frequented by the latter, a point overlooked by the NMFS, according to the shrimpers. The financial strain of implementing TEDs, coupled with the potential revenue loss estimated between $9.4 million to $44 million in the first year, could be crippling.
Additionally, the Louisiana shrimp industry, which supports over 15,000 individuals and generates around $1.3 billion, is already contending with an influx of foreign shrimp imports. Acy and his peers seek a reassessment of the rule by the Biden Administration, aiming for a solution that harmonizes environmental protection with the preservation of their longstanding industry.
The lawsuit transcends legal boundaries, embodying a fight for the rights, traditions, and economic stability of the Louisiana shrimping community. As the Supreme Court examines the extent of bureaucratic authority, Acy’s battle is a plea for recognition and support of the shrimping heritage and the families it sustains. The shrimpers’ stand is a testament to their resolve to maintain their heritage, advocate for fair governance, and uphold a way of life integral to Louisiana’s identity.
On January 17, 2024, the Pelican Institute filed a Complaint on behalf of Acy and the Louisiana Shrimp Association challenging the rule.
- Complaint. On January 17, 2024, the Pelican Institute filed a Complaint on behalf of Acy and the Louisiana Shrimp Association challenging the rule.
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