News Column: COASTAL CURRENTS
Submitted: May 9, 2012
Alan Matherne, Coastal & Fisheries Outreach Agent
Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Assumption Parishes; LSU AgCenter/Sea Grant
Louisiana Direct Seafood
The spring brown shrimp season is off to a strong start. And with that, many people are looking to buy fresh shrimp directly from shrimpers or the docks. Also, many shrimpers are looking to get just a little more money for their larger, premium quality shrimp by selling directly to those people. But, unless you know a shrimper or a friend of a shrimper, many times it’s hard to make the connection. That’s what Louisiana Direct Seafood is all about. Hooking up consumers directly with seafood producers and first buyers, LouisianaDirectSeafood.com facilitates the buying and selling of fresh quality premium Louisiana seafood.
Commercial fishermen have been selling a portion of their fresh seafood products directly to consumers probably for as long as they’ve been making their catches. But, in the past, most of this has been primarily to family, friends, neighbors, and other acquaintances. More recently though, some fishermen have used direct sales to help get a better price for their premium products … thus increasing their profits and their ability to remain viable.
Enter today’s advanced electronic, communication, and Internet-enabled age. Combine these new technologies with the need for seafood producers to connect with seafood consumers and what you get is modern direct seafood marketing.
In fact, the first direct seafood marketing program in Louisiana, Delcambre Direct, has proven to be so popular and successful that it has been expanded to cover the entire state of Louisiana and will probably expand eventually throughout the entire Gulf region.
Programs such as Louisiana Direct Seafood are enabling area commercial fishermen and dealers and people from all across the state and even around the country to do just that: get connected! Consumers are now able to contact fishermen and first buyers directly to buy fresh shrimp and other seafood when it arrives at the docks.
What is really great about direct marketing is that it enables our struggling local fishermen and dealers to realize greater profits by selling their premium products at higher prices. This helps to ensure that they can continue to operate their businesses at a reasonable profit. This, in turn, helps all those involved in the seafood industry, from the docks to the processors to the wholesalers and everyone in-between, by ensuring that a sufficient number of seafood harvesters are available to continue to provide sufficient quantities of quality seafood products. In other words, by keeping fishermen in business all of the other industries dependent upon the fisheries stay in business also.
Savvy consumers can also capitalize on this by obtaining quality, fresh seafood products directly from the fishermen and dealers at very reasonable prices. This is a win-win situation all around.
Louisiana Direct Seafood is here now, and with it LaTer Direct Seafood. Lafourche and Terrebonne area fishermen and dealers now have their own online network available to them at LaTerDirectSeafood.com. This program facilitates electronically “hooking-up” our local seafood producers and dealers with consumers throughout the area and beyond.
So, if you need to buy or sell some fresh shrimp or any other Louisiana seafood, just go to LouisianaDirectSeafood.com, click into the area you’re looking to do business in (Lafourche-Terrebonne, Delcambre, Cameron, or SouthShore-New Orleans) and make the connection!
Shrimpers, other commercial fishermen, and seafood dealers can sign up to do business on Louisiana Direct Seafood by going to the website, selecting the appropriate area and clicking on the Seller Registration link at the bottom left side of the web page. Cost for this service is $100/year, but no up-front payment is required. Just register and start doing business … we’ll send you an invoice later.
In other news, TRAC (Terrebonne Readiness and Assistance Coalition) wants to let all of the commercial fishermen in the Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Grand Isle area know that they have special programs setup to assist them. They can provide services such as Long-Term Case Management, Individual Recovery Plan Development, GCCF Claims Assistance Advocacy, Continuing Education, Employment Training, Financial Education Services, and Financial Aid for Emergency Living & Work Related Needs. The deadline for enrollment is June 30, 2012. So, if you need any assistance, I would suggest that you act now by contacting them at www.trac4la.com, 985-851-2952, or 877-872-2453. Tell them I sent you. They have been providing long-term disaster recovery programs and services in South Louisiana since 1992 and will do whatever is possible to help you now.
Alan Matherne is the LSU AgCenter/Sea Grant Coastal & Fisheries Outreach Agent for Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Assumption parishes. He can be contacted at 985-873-6495 or firstname.lastname@example.org. His articles and blogs are posted at bayoulog.com. You can “Friend” him on Facebook at facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001785563037 and follow his “Tweets” on Twitter at twitter.com/amatherne.