HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) – The Gulf Coast shrimp industry largely depends on consumer loyalty to local products but over the years imported shrimp have worked their way into freezers at a cheaper price.
For the last three years, Dr. John Lambert, Assistant Professor of International Business , has been researching where Mississippi resident's loyalty lies when it comes to shrimp eating consumers.
"You can see in the market place a tremendous influx of imported shrimp" but Lambert also said, "you can see that the gulf states in fact are trying to take steps to get people to maintain their loyalty to gulf shrimp."
"A lot of times you will see that consumers are very interested in making sure they have the ability to buy imports but sometimes they want to protect something that is home grown."
Lambert is teaming up with colleagues and students to survey whether the oil spill will cause consumers to turn their backs on local shrimp and turn their shopping carts to imported.
"We want to see if the local fisherman are impacted by what's going on right now as they have been impacted in the past by the influx of the imported shrimp."
The first part of the study began in June when brown shrimp season began, the second part coincides with oil well being capped.
"You have a lot of people making their lively hoods in the seafood industry if we look at that seafood industry being damaged we have a whole lot of lively hoods that are in jeopardy you are looking at a way of life that changes and is that going to happen, are we going to see anything? Lambert said, stay tuned and find out."
Consumers have until Wednesday, Aug. 4 to participate in the survey which is available on-line at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/gulf_coast_shrimp_survey_phase_II. Once the data is analyzed reports will be made available to interested individuals or organizations.