The following letter and response are from SEAFOOD.COM NEWS of May 20, 2008. We are publishing them on the blog so they can be read by our non-paying subscribers.
To: Seafood.com News
I have been receiving your free email newsletter for over a year now and read it daily. Throughout the year I have come to a conclusion. You are a processor that benefits from cheap overseas shrimp. You prefer it and resent the domestic shrimp industry.
You seem to rejoice in reporting that it is dead in certain states. (see yesterday's stories on the shrimp industry in Louisiana and Texas)
If I am wrong forgive me. You slam the SSA repeatedly, yet they are the only ones who have attempted to help the domestic shrimpers. If you think they are so crooked, suggest another alternative plan to level out the domestic Shrimpers.
You are against tariffs, yet they are they only thing that level the market prices.
Our domestic shrimp prices have done the exact opposite of everything else in America.
Our cost has risen and the prices have fallen. Outrageously.
Prices today for landed shrimp are 1/3 to 1/4 of what they were 7 years ago. And the cost of fuel has quadrupled.
This is a direct result of price dumping by foreign companies. It has nothing to do with fair trade. Most of these countries don't allow our products into their market and if they do they charge such high tariffs that it is not profitable to sell to them. These are the bare facts.
Our processors' greed has caused this also. They do not care where the shrimp come from or what damage to the environment, what chemicals are poured onto them or what the shrimp were fed (farm raised shrimp are fed chicken feces in Indonesia and Thailand, and Vietnam traditionally). Greed and a willingness to forfeit our own domestic industry for cheap substandard products that are repeatedly found to be dangerous.
Shame on you for supporting industries like that.