Sea Grant Keeps Louisiana Seafood Industry Afloat

April 08, 2020

Buoying Louisiana’s Fisheries 

When normal supply chains for Gulf seafood began breaking with the arrival of COVID-19, Louisiana fishermen needed to reach customers in new ways to keep their boats afloat and feed their families. Luckily, Louisiana Sea Grant had already spent 10 years building a direct marketing program to help commercial fishermen, shrimpers, crabbers, and oyster harvesters all along the coast sell a portion of their catch directly to the public. Now, with socially distant pop-up fish shops and a surge in online sales through LouisianaDirectSeafood.com, Sea Grant is working to keep a vital industry afloat. In a single weekend, the program helped one Louisiana fisherman sell 5,000 pounds of freshly caught red snapper in Lafayette. It has also shipped thousands of pounds of seafood to customers in 31 U.S. states as well as 34 cities and small towns in Louisiana since April.

A fisherman shows off his crabs

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown, Sea Grant has helped Louisiana fishermen sell more than 25,000 pounds of fresh catch directly to customers, safely and in person.

– Sea Grant

“As the COVID-19 pandemic shut down normal seafood distribution and markets, the Sea Grant direct marketing program became an economic lifeline by helping fishers connect directly with consumers.”

- Secretary Jack Montoucet, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries