Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet is encouraging residents and visitors to purchase seafood produced and caught by Louisiana fishermen.
The state’s fishing industry is still reeling from the flood of 2019 that severely limited the availability of product, especially in the oyster and shrimp industries. Industry leaders say they are seeing signs that the COVID-19 emergency actions are affecting a struggling $2.4 billion industry again.
“We can help the industry by pitching in and purchasing Louisiana seafood whenever possible. The more, the better,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “Remember that each dollar you spend helps fishermen, their families, and their communities, the backbone of the seafood industry. They are counting on this income for their survival, especially after the hardships many of them suffered last year.”
State produced seafood products are available from small and large retail locations or directly from commercial fishermen who have a fresh product license. Supporting these fishermen will also directly benefit the local retailers and restaurants who proudly serve their products.
It is reassuring to know that Louisiana Sea Grant and the LSU AgCenter continue their long-term support of Louisiana fishermen’s effort to sell their product to the public through what is now Louisiana Direct Seafood (LDS) at https://louisianadirectseafood.com. Fishermen in Cameron, Delcambre, Lafourche/Terrebonne, and Southshore New Orleans interact with consumers online – taking orders – and arranging pickup at the docks or other locations.
Consumers can sign up for newsletters on the LDS website that provide information on the program and Louisiana’s seafood industry. The program has a blog where consumers can see when fishermen have fresh product available for sale. They can also follow participating fishermen and their fresh catch postings via the regional Facebook pages.
For consumers unable to pick up their seafood, there’s the LDS Shop at https://louisianadirectseafoodshop.com. There, consumers can order seafood and have it shipped to their home. This program sells Louisiana seafood products that have been caught and packaged by fishermen.
LDWF points out that the annual spring shrimp season is rapidly approaching and that the industry will be extremely dependent on the support of Louisiana buyers.
“Please find a way to include all Louisiana seafood products in your budgets,” Montoucet said. “Remember the income received is key to maintaining the overall strength of our economy. And, remember to ask if it was caught in Louisiana!”
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov or signup to receive email alerts.