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Members of the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force; Chairman Mark Abraham (C). (Photo: louisianaseafoodnews)

Louisiana Shrimp Task Force drives premium quality vision

  (UNITED STATES, 4/25/2011)

Leaders of Louisiana’s large shrimp business – like their counterparts in other segments of the state’s seafood industry – have launched a landmark task force to strategically develop best practices and profitability for Louisiana shrimp.

At a meeting in Baton Rouge, key objectives were outlined, including research to identify unique marketing opportunities for the premium wild caught shrimp taken from the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Ewell Smith of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board speaks before members of the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force. (Photo: louisianaseafoodnews.)

Louisiana seafood – whether shrimp, crabs, oysters or fin fish – are already the most tested and approved seafood on the market in America as a result of safety concerns resulting from last year’s BP oil spill in the Gulf. Not one test by federal, state or established independent laboratories has shown any safety issues. Today, all federal waters in the Gulf have been opened for commercial fishing.

Louisiana’s shrimp industry leaders are taking safety a step farther by developing an unprecedented certification program that traces seafood handling from boat to market. They believe certification will give wild caught Louisiana seafood a significant competitive advantage as a premium product over the massive influx of foreign farm-raised shrimp, often of questionable origin.

Dr. Jon Bell, a food safety scientist at LSU’s AgCenter, detailed how the shrimp certification program will create a distinctive shrimp brand among consumers by showing origin, traceability, monitoring and best practices in the industry that are second to none.

Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, echoed the need for collaborative research within the seafood industry and a unified voice among industry leaders as essential for extending strong brand reputation of Louisiana seafood as a quality domestic food resource.

Task force chairman Mark Abraham of Gulf Island Shrimp & Seafood said his industry wants a greater voice in order to get better prices for hard-working Louisiana fishermen who deliver premium shrimp to market. The biggest competition, he said, comes from the flood of cheaper imported seafood into U.S. grocery stores.

Source: Louisiana Seafood News


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