Some say the 2022 Alligator season in Louisiana will be good | Business news

Some say the 2022 Alligator season in Louisiana will be good |  Business news

Houma, Los Angeles – Alligator season has begun in Louisiana, and with meat prices soaring, people in the industry are expecting a good year.

Alligators bring an estimated $250 million to the state annually, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Hidden prices have fallen due to an oversaturation of the market, industry officials say, but meat prices have gone up.

State numbers show that wild alligator skins sold for $7.50 a foot last year and fetched $780,900 across Louisiana. Ranch-grown gates sell by the centimeter and bring in much more, priced at $6.50 per centimeter for a total of $66.29 million.

Meat alone brings in more than $10 million annually in Louisiana, said Jeb Linscombe, alligator program manager for the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Last year, 1.1 million pounds of farm-raised alligator meat was sold in Louisiana for $7.8 million, according to the agency’s annual 2020-21 report. Hunters who caught wild gator sold 315,100 pounds of meat for $2.2 million.

For fishermen, it is profitable and fun.

“I did 2,000 miles for this,” said Larry Kasler, 72, of Ontario, Canada. Grab and shoot two of the three gates that were flown on September 2nd in Terrebonne Parish on a trip with hunting guides Huma Nicholas Cook and Joshua Bridges.

Gibson’s Randy Rochelle and his son Randy Rochelle Jr. have been given cards to hunt and kill 25 alligators this season, which began August 31 and runs through October 31. remaining marks. This is their first year of fishing, and they expect to make $2,000 in total.

“It was so good for us,” said Rochelle Sr. “It’s not much, but it takes your expenses back and gives you something new.”

Linscombe predicts that without any storms throwing off the season, 20,000 to 25,000 wild trails will be harvested across the state.

Yvette Pitre is a local Cut Off crocodile handler who buys from both hunters and farms. Tab Peter, her husband, took over the company, Louisiana Bio Bites, in 2002 from his father. Peters says that since the History Channel show “Swamp People” began in 2010, people’s tastes have become more adventurous and the demand for crocodile meat has increased.

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“We were able to push the market up by $1.50 to $2, and we passed that directly to the fishermen because without them we have no business,” Yvette Peter said, adding that many fishermen have lost their homes or jobs due to Hurricane Ida.

The company sells the crocodile in small bags either filled with red or white meat. White meat sells for about $12 to $14 a pound in a store, and red meat at $7 or $8 a pound, Tab Peter said.

Linscombe said higher demand and prices are in line with what he’s seeing statewide.

A typical alligator that Peter receives is about 7 feet long, sells for about $100 and produces 20-30 pounds of meat. Pitres operate year-round, but approximately 75% of their business takes place during alligator season. She said the season is crazy and people work day and night to process withdrawals by hand.

Mahler, owner of Big Al’s Seafood restaurant in Houmt, buys and sells statues for his restaurant and is anticipating a good season. He also received marks for harvesting 13 alligators over an area he owns. Mahler said the season was slow as of September 2, but he expected it to get busier quickly due to the Labor Day holiday.

Linscombe said the state’s regulation and management of wild crocodiles has brought them back from being endangered.

Louisiana officials said the Louisiana wild alligator population has increased from less than 100,000 to more than two million people over the past 50 years. Additionally, there are approximately one million alligators on Louisiana farms.

Linscombe said the marking system incentivizes landowners to protect alligators. The number of tags released each year depends on how well the crocodile can reproduce.

“Because it’s a commercial harvest, my predecessors created a program that was financially beneficial to landowners, so what it did was that it gave a financial incentive to protect the resource, and that’s why they’ve recovered significantly,” he said.

This method of organizing has been so successful, Linscombe said, that other countries are beginning to imitate it.

“We have a group of alligators that are in better health than they have been in 100 years,” he said. “So you have other African countries, for example, that put crocodiles in danger of extinction and instead of trying to make harvesting illegal, what they’re trying to do is put in place a harvesting program so that those indigenous cultures have value for that crocodile rather than just consider it a dangerous animal and kill it all” .

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