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Louisiana Fisheries Forward (LFF) is a voluntary educational program for members of the commercial seafood community. A collaboration of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and Louisiana Sea Grant College Program at LSU (Sea Grant), LFF was established with the goal of improving the economic success of Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry.
LFF provides a structured mechanism to develop and deliver relevant and timely information to the seafood industry. Content is presented via the Internet, using training videos and fact sheets, and directly to communities with hands-on workshops, training days and demonstration projects that showcase new technology and best practice methods.
“Louisiana Fisheries Forward is about establishing a method to communicate important information to our commercial seafood community” said Randy Pausina, assistant secretary, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “This communication will help our fishermen, dealers and processors stay abreast of global trends, new equipment, handling practices, technology and rapidly evolving regulations. This program will help our seasoned veterans as well as newcomers to the industry improve their already high-quality Louisiana seafood, and help them take their product to the next level.”
Robert Twilley, Ph.D., executive director of Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, believes that the two state agencies, working together, can enhance product quality, promote innovative business practices, and reduce our environmental footprint to ensure the continued success of commercial fishing.
“Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Louisiana Sea Grant have a successful, 45-year history of developing targeted educational programs for the seafood industry,” said Twilley. “This partnership marshals the strength of community-embedded marine extension agents with the subject matter expertise of university scientists and fisheries resource managers. Together, these experts pinpoint timely and challenging issues facing our industry and more importantly, offer options and solutions that overcome those issues.”
Offering the seafood community the knowledge to compete in the marketplace is the key, according to Pausina. He points to the successful branding initiative of Louisiana Wild Certified Seafood, and sees Louisiana Fisheries Forward is an extension of that effort—helping our seafood industry increase consumer confidence and receive a premium price for their catch.
Louisiana Fisheries Forward Initiatives
LFF enhances the current outreach programs of Sea Grant, including the two-day Fisheries Summit and workshops along the coast. Working with LDWF and seafood industry leaders, these training days present a wider range of diverse and challenging topics and reach a greater number of people. Now complete are four, 30- to 45-minute training videos that address:
- Best Practices for Commercial Fishermen
- Best Practices for Seafood Dealers/Processors
- Best Business Practices for the Seafood Industry
- Best Practices for Commercial Crab Fishermen
Another four videos are planned over the next year. Fact sheets, available online, complement the videos with more detailed, time-sensitive information.