Louisiana’s Seafood Future released a report that summarizes a year of outreach to the Louisiana seafood industry. The report’s findings draw on public meetings with and surveys completed by seafood industry members in the last year.
Governor John Bel Edwards spurred this effort in early 2018, when he asked the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), and Louisiana Sea Grant to reach out to Louisiana fishermen and learn how they were dealing with land loss, commodity prices, and the effects of coastal protection and restoration projects.
The resulting outreach effort, Louisiana’s Seafood Future (LSF), sought to highlight innovative strategies created by seafood industry members as they confront a changing coast. LSF’s 2019 report distills ideas from crabbers, shrimpers, finfishermen, oyster fishermen, dock workers and processors—people at the heart of Louisiana’s seafood economy and culture. Overall, people who provided ideas to LSF said they wanted to stay in the seafood industry, even as they worried about future trends and wanted more information about what to expect.
“This is an important document because it reflects innovations developed by the people who have been and will be most affected by the changes – the hardworking people of our seafood industry and the recreational fishers who enjoy our Sportsman’s Paradise,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “Some of these findings will be useful tools as our seafood industry continues to recover from the devastating flooding earlier this year.”
Ideas were gathered at 26 meetings from mid-2018 through May 2019. These meetings included regional meetings open to the public, task force meetings, and dock days. Ten thousand detailed surveys were mailed to seafood industry members, and over 700 hard copy responses were received. Seafood industry members were also invited to take part in an online survey. In a separate effort, approximately 4,800 recreational fishers completed online surveys as well.
“Our seafood industry represents an important part of what makes Louisiana unique,” said Chip Kline, CPRA Chairman. “This effort provides a valuable opportunity for us to discuss the future of coastal Louisiana while incorporating the unmatched knowledge and experience of those who know the seafood industry best. We look forward to working together as we face the challenge of protecting and sustaining our coastline, and our Louisiana way of life.”
“When we began each LSF meeting, we told fishermen we wanted to listen to them,” said Robert Twilley, Director of Louisiana Sea Grant. “We hope that when fishermen read this report, they will see their ideas clearly represented.”
- For a hard copy of Louisiana’s Seafood Future 2019 Findings Report, please email your request with mailing address to: laseafoodfuture.com/input.
- Go to laseafoodfuture.com/surveyresults to see an online version of the report and to view all survey results, including comments from members of Louisiana’s seafood industry.