Tarpon Springs, FL—Despite SSA’s achievements on behalf of the shrimp industry at large, the organization has been the subject of a smear campaign launched by the Louisiana Shrimp Association (LSA). LSA and its officers have repeatedly and publicly alleged that SSA “stole”, “took”, or “skimmed” money from shrimp fishermen.
According to SSA’s executive director, John Williams: “LSA’s allegations are patently untrue and have created an unhealthy conflict among Louisiana shrimpers, many of whom support SSA, at a time when we should all be working together. We do not have this conflict in any other state represented by SSA.” Accordingly, in order to protect its hard-earned reputation as an asset to the domestic shrimp industry at large, and in the hopes of putting a halt to LSA’s smear campaign, SSA has filed a defamation lawsuit against LSA and it officers.
The Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA) is a non-profit alliance of members of the shrimp industry in eight states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas) committed to preventing the continued deterioration of America’s domestic shrimp industry. Among the many activities undertaken by SSA to aid the domestic shrimp industry — which include the development of marketing plans for domestic shrimp, lobbying for more stringent controls of testing banned chemicals, assisting in the passage of new regulations concerning the shrimp industry — SSA successfully prosecuted an international trade action against Brazil, China, Ecuador, India, Thailand, and Vietnam. As a result, members of the domestic shrimp industry have received over $100 million in financial relief from foreign exporters of shrimp to date, with more relief expected.