Feb 20, 2024 - Culture

Only in Louisiana: The annual pardoning of the crawfish

Illustration of a crawfish holding a beignet.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser will pardon Sherbin the crawfish Tuesday in Louisiana's annual ceremony.

Why it matters: We love any excuse to celebrate our favorite edible crustacean.

What's happening: Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board will gather in Breaux Bridge at 9:30am to pardon the Sherbin and spare him from winding up in a boil.

The big picture: Nungesser started the annual pardoning eight years ago as a way to celebrate crawfish season.

  • Louisiana leads the country in crawfish production, supplying 100 to 120 million pounds annually, according to the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
  • The crawfish industry contributes $300 million to the state's economy each year, officials say.

Yes, but: Crawfish producers say there's a shortage in the state, placing blame on last year's record heat and extreme drought.

Zoom in: This year's lucky mudbug is named after Henderson Mayor Sherbin Collette, whose family has made their living fishing in the Atchafayala Basin for generations, Nungesser's office says.

  • Sherbin will live out the rest of his days in Lake Fausse Point State Park in St. Martinville.

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