Competing with Imported Products
Read more about Georgia shrimping in the Savannah Morning News article, "Shrimpers catch hardship, hope."
MAREX helped bring almost $2 million in federal funding to Georgia shrimpers, allowing them to remain competitive in a global market.
Over the past three years, the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service and Georgia Sea Grant have helped bring almost $2 million in federal funding to Georgia shrimpers through the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers (TAA) program. These efforts have enabled a staggering 94 percent of all eligible participants in the Southeast Region to complete the full program, well above the national average of 74 percent.
Once a flourishing industry, today Georgia shrimpers face plummeting wages, shriveling profit margins and fierce competition from imported farm-raised shrimp which place the local shrimping industry in jeopardy. In 2010, the shrimping industry became eligible for the TAA program that offers financial and training assistance to agricultural producers and fishermen whose industries have been adversely affected by international trade.
MAREX and Georgia Sea Grant have provided the TAA education and training for Georgia’s shrimpers. Courses have focused on increasing profits, improving production and developing marketing opportunities. Enhancing the training, MAREX designed and offered two additional courses specifically for Georgia shrimpers: safety training and responding to consumer questions.
As the Georgia TAA program draws to a close, MAREX and Georgia Sea Grant faculty and staff have helped 175 applicants gain eligibility for this federal funding. Of these approved applicants, 161 have completed the program including a minimum of 12 hours of intensive training (online and in-person at MAREX’s Brunswick facility) and successfully developed a long-term business plan with a professional business consultant. These 161 applicants have each received $12,000 to improve their businesses, totaling $1,932,000.00.
MAREX and Georgia Sea Grant’s TAA training has not only enabled Georgia’s shrimpers to receive cash benefits, it also has equipped them with updated and competitive strategies for competing locally and globally in the ever-changing shrimping industry.
Business experts worked with local shrimpers to help them design individual long-term business plans.
Research Vessel Captain, Marine Resource Specialist, Brunswick Station