Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



Secondary data on cost and earnings from a 2012 survey of inshore Louisiana shrimpers was used as the foundation this partial budget analysis examining the feasibility of supplementing direct marketing (DM) strategies for Louisianan shrimp harvesters. Refinement of key variables for the analysis was conducted using supplemental surveys in 2014 of DM shrimp harvesters and DM consumers. The DM harvester survey (n= 72) produced information on actual price per pound for DM shrimp, as well as catch grade distribution, product marketing mix, and labor estimates. The DM consumer survey (n=255) yielded information on participants’ preferences for DM shrimp, including actual and maximum prices paid by grade. Survey data was utilized to refine partial budget template and spreadsheet simulations were conducted to examine the potential impacts of key variables under DM allocation scenarios of 5%, 15%, 30%, and 50% of total catch. Results of these simulations suggest that the average inshore shrimp harvester in Louisiana could potentially augment net income from operations (NIFO) (estimated at -$220 in 2012) by allocating as little as an additional 5% of their annual catch to direct marketing. Operations best suited for this practice are owner-operated vessels that have: annual harvest revenues exceeding $43,000, access to sufficient population base (123 DM transactions annual capacity); and, potential for dockside, vessel-based sales to be completed within twelve hours post trip. Labor was found to have the greatest impact on feasibility, with increasing units of labor resulting in negative NIFO from DM beyond 48 hours for most operations. Product mix simulations indicate that combinations involving Large and Medium grade shrimp were the most profitable, most likely due greater availability for these grades. Finally, participation in DM could be diminished in brief periods of substantial prices rise increases in the commodity market, a situation that existed briefly in 2013 when dockside prices of shrimp more than doubled across all grades due to a reduction in shrimp imports. The partial budget constructed in this analysis constitutes a decision tool for existing and prospective investors and will allow firm specific analyses of DM feasibility based on location, regulatory constraints, economic status, and marketing strategy.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Caffey, Rex H.