The Louisiana Direct Seafood Story
Louisiana Direct Seafood is a marketing initiative administered by LSU Ag Center and Louisiana Sea Grant, with funding by the Louisiana Office of Community Development and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Council.
Our mission is to help coastal fishermen connect with consumers, and build community support for fresh, wild-caught seafood products. The benefits of our sea-to-plate concept are two-fold: fishermen thrive by selling their catch at a fair price, and consumers experience the superior taste and texture of freshly caught seafood.
This initiative is also focused on quality business practices, working with fishermen to deliver a superior, sustainable product that meets rigorous standards and preserves our fisheries for generations to come.
WHY BUY DIRECT?
Know Your Seafood, Know Your Fisherman
There is a reason the farm-to-table concept has become so popular—people are looking to make a connection with their food, and with local producers,” says Thomas Hymel, Louisiana Direct Seafood program director. “The benefits of fresh food—more nutrients, no additives and better taste—translate to seafood as well. Especially with seafood, the taste is sweeter with a better texture.”
Louisiana Direct Seafood evolved from the Delcambre Direct Seafood model—a collaborative effort of the Port of Delcambre, LSU Ag Center and Louisiana Sea Grant. DelcambreDirectSeafood.com went live in May 2010, using a unique ‘Fresh Catch’ home page blog that allows fishermen to post their latest catch as well as contact information. The web site has revitalized the shrimping industry in Delcambre; shrimpers have grown their direct-to-consumer business selling premium shrimp for a competitive price.
The success of the Delcambre Direct initiative convinced stakeholders that this project could benefit fishermen—and consumers—along the entire coast of Louisiana. In 2012, LouisianaDirectSeafood.com, as well as satellite programs in Lafourche-Terrebonne (La Ter), Cameron, and SouthShore–New Orleans, was born.
As a statewide entity, Louisiana Direct Seafood is able to build partnerships with business and industry to create new opportunities for commercial fishermen to succeed.
For example, the Iberia Industrial Development Foundation (IDF) partnered with Delcambre Direct to secure grant funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and Community Foundation of Acadiana to create the Louisiana Seafood Academy. The Academy provided workshops and training on multiple business issues like quality, energy-efficiency, rules and regulations, and more.