The impact of Hurricane Laura on the Louisiana shrimp sector wasn't immediately clear on Thursday after the storm ripped across the state.

Vessel owners rushed to protect their vessels in advance of the hurricane.

"They have all evacuated right now, maybe you can call back tomorrow," a switchboard operator at the Louisiana Shrimp Association told IntraFish.

The Category 4 hurricane with 150 mile-an-hour winds ripped through the southern US state, leaving a vast trail of destruction in its wake.

As it made its way inland the hurricane was downgraded to tropical storm status with winds estimated at 65 mph.

The Gulf shrimp industry has faced a series of challenges in recent years, ranging from competition from imports to pandemic lockdowns.

In the first seven months of this year Louisiana shrimpers landed 10.8 million pounds of shrimp. Last year harvests totaled 12.1 million pounds.

South Shrimp Alliance Executive Director John Williams said so far he has been unable to reach anyone in the Louisiana area, parts of which he thinks may have escaped the worst of the storm.

"There is quite a bit of devastation but we won't know about shrimp until things settle down and the boats can get back out again," he told IntraFish.

But does he expect this to be days or weeks?

"It depends on the devastation and how bad the boats, the fleets are messed up," he added.

Williams doesn't expect the situation to be too bad for Texas, Alabama and possibly Mississippi.

This story is being updated as further information is available on the storm's impacts.