Tuesday, April 6, 2021
By YOURI KEMP
CRAWFISH prices had a nine percent spike three weeks before the end of the season.
Keith Carroll, the National Fisheries Association’s (NFA) president, told Tribune Business the crawfishing season ended “pretty good” with prices holding up throughout.
Mr Carroll said: “The weather was mostly bad for the last month of March, but I wasn’t complaining. I think overall the season was pretty good. The price held up good.”
Crawfish season ended March 31 and fishermen are now tallying up their seasonal take.
“Prices held for $13.75 for the whole season, and last month it went up to $15.” In January there was a 45 percent increase in crawfish prices up to $16 per pound, but in February it dropped to as low as $13.75.
Mr Carroll also there was little to no problem with poaching this season, something that he has praised the recently passed Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Act for helping to eradicate.
Paul Mailis, a director at the NFA, agreed with Mr Carroll and said: “I would say that a lot of the fishermen have done well, and we’re blessed and grateful to be able to fish throughout the pandemic. Because the prices of seafood have remained so good and demand has gone up so much, I couldn’t get enough crawfish to sell. “The same could be said for pretty much every lobster supplier, demand was very high. We were able to do very well and we’re grateful, but the season closing is important and critical time for the fishery.
“This is the time when even into March the lobsters begin to produce eggs and bear them and so we have to be very careful not to spear egg-bearing crawfish. They’re going to have four or five months to lay and produce and replenish the fishery for next year.”
Crawfishing season begins again in the first week of August when fishermen will be harvesting crawfish that have spawned from “two to three years ago,” said Mr Mailis.