Archive for the 'Seafood' Category

Is the VOO program hiring commercial fisherman, first?

June 2, 2010

This story from Bayou, Le Batre, Ala. really started the day off.

“At issue, according to those there, is that recreational boat owners are being hired before those who make their livelihoods solely from fishing local waters.”

URL

Evidently, BP’s VOO program is in question, “We are adjusting the vessels of opportunity program to give priority to commercial vessels and fisherman.”

There’s a post in the Louisiana Sportsman forum stating that boat captains could be paid $35/hr just to drive the boat. I wonder what that’s all about.

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What does a fishing community look like?

June 2, 2010

Fishing Communities Facts

Many communities in the Gulf of Mexico were
originally founded to exploit the rich marine resources.

Some communities in the Gulf of Mexico, for example,
Empire and Venice in Louisiana, are below sea level
and protected by levies.

In many coastal communities, fishermen can no
longer afford to live near the water because
increasing development and redevelopment of these
areas has raised the cost of living beyond their means.

Seafood processing and sales

In 2006, there were 174 fish processing plants and
255 wholesale businesses located in the Gulf region
that together employed 10,841 workers.

Louisiana had the most wholesaler plants in 2006
(126) that together employed 661 workers, while
Texas had the second highest number (77) that
together employed 825 workers.

Shrimp fishery

The combination of long term increases in expenses
including marine diesel fuel, combined with the
dramatic increase in the amount of relatively cheap
imported farm raised shrimp, is making it very
difficult for many Gulf fishermen to make a living in
commercial fishing. Over 90% of the Nation’s shrimp
supply is now imported.

Vietnamese fishermen are now an important part of
the shrimp fishery in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Recreational fishing

Florida had the most saltwater recreational fishermen
in the United States in 2006: 3.7 million, and another
2.9 million saltwater anglers from other states
reported saltwater fishing trips to Florida in that year.
These recreational fishermen released just over 44%
of their catch in 2006.

Historical context

Coastal dwelling American Indians relied on the Gulf
of Mexico’s inshore marine resources for part of their
subsistence for thousands of years before Europeans
began arriving in the 16th century.

Some of the first scientific studies of the Gulf’s fishery
resources were begun in 1884 by the U.S.
Commission of Fish and Fisheries. They eventually
included surveys of the oyster beds in areas near
Apalachicola, Florida, and inshore waters of Alabama
as well as other areas.
[Source: Gulf Summary Communities]

“Overall, 30 fishing communities in Alabama, 99 in Louisiana, 14 in Mississippi, 68 in Texas, and 119 in West Florida have been profiled by NMFS social scientists because of the nature of their links with commercial and/or recreation fishing. In 2006, 14 United States’ top fifty ports by landings revenue were located in the Gulf region. They were: Bayou La Batre, Alabama; Dulac-Chauvin, Empire-Venice, Golden Meadow-Leeville, Intracoastal City. Lafitte-Barataria. Louisiana: Brownwsville-Port Isabel. Port Arthur, Galveston and Palacios, Texas; and Apalachicola, Fort Myers, Key West, Tampa Bay- st. Petersburg, Florida. On average, the Gulf of Mexico accounted for 21% of U.S. annual landing revenue from 1997-2006.

The Gulf’s top fishing communities were typically smaller towns and villages with populations below 20,000 persons. However, on major metropolitan center approaching 2 million (Houston, Texas), and a few larger coastal cities also have significant fisheries involvement (Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; and Brownsville, Texas) Louisiana’s and Alabama’s top fishing communities are most likely to have populations below 5,000.Nine of Louisiana’s top ten fishing communities and seven of Alabama’s top ten fishing communities fall in this group.”

[Source: NOAA Fisheries Service – Southeast Region – Publications,
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/socialsci/socialsci.htm, Accessed: June 2, 2010. No date cited. See also: Identifying Communities Associated with the Fishing Industry in Louisiana]

What is a human text message?

June 2, 2010

Matt Perterson: Never Again! Gulf Coast
Matt Pertsen: Never Again! Gulf Coast
Matt Petersen: Never AGain! Gulf Coast
From URL

Who dat ? Say it isn’t so…

July 29, 2007

Louisiana CrawfishAshley Morris offered links to the new Saints website developed by a Seattle, Washington consulting company.  Ashley was unimpressed with  the fact that the Saints didn’t “buy local”. They are our home team.  They should buy local. The Saints made me proud last year for the first time since the 80’s. Morris was right on that note. “Unimpressed”, wasn’t the word that first came to my mind.  Negligent, ignorant, selfish, foolish, corporate…buffoons!  I have a string of expletives I can’t share.

The buy local buy Louisiana campaign has long since been thrown under the radar and should be front page news daily.  The fact that most of the revenue base has been shipped to Texas ie evacuated and likely will never return is a sore spot for many of us. You can view the pdf file from the left about Houston area evacuees for those numbers.  Ashley rants further about the fact that a woman from Texas held a sign up during Mardi Gras, “We’re from Texas – You owe us!”  I have another string of expletives…

Someone should give at least a verbal credit to all of those companies that buy Louisiana products.  A journalist from Washington State wrote a story recently on sodas that use pure cane sugar.  A photo of Zatarain’s Rootbeer accompanied the article.  Zatarian’s  Rootbeer isn’t available on the West Coast.  There were addresses and phone numbers of local Washington State merchants  who offered various brands of home made soda products.  Of course, none of the merchants called had even heard of Zatarains rootbeer.  The author of the article would not return phone calls.  I was livid.  Zatarain’s, now a division of McCormick, stated to the effect that this was a “snafu” of sorts.  They were not informed of the use of the photograph and should have been. Here’s where I got ugly…

I’m reminded of the lack of milk during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and being surrounded by dairy country.  My recent post on the gas shortage lifted me somewhat as a Hammond area gas station offered free gas to a dairy farmer who needed it to milk his cows.  Buying local milk, however, is a bit more difficult considering the dairy industry.  Every container of milk you buy from Winn Dixie has a Jacksonville, Fla stamp.  You just can’t buy local milk!  It all gets thrown into one great big vat and shipped around.

Agriculture Hearings April 2007 – local dairy farmer speaks an talks about Katrina’s impact and current issues pertaining to the Louisiana dairy industry April 2007.

“…It is important for the Committee to note that Louisiana is a milk deficit state which means that we do not produce enough fluid milk to satisfy consumer needs and consequently milk from other states has to be shipped in at various times to meet demand. Maintaining as much milk production as possible from the existing dairy operations in the state is critical!…”

Press Release July 27, 2007 La. Dept. of Ag 

It’s frustrating to go into the stores and see Chinese shrimp for sale knowing that Louisiana Shrimpers are out there working for Louisiana in the Gulf.  I can’t find one Made with Pride in Post Katrina Louisiana sticker.

Here are two links for Louisiana food products. Cajun Shop  and   Louisiana Seafood .  And this is from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture Marketing.   Then there’s the export directory of Louisiana Products. This export list is from August 2005.  I’m not certain if it is accurate reflection post Katrina.  It will take some work to find out. The Ag website doesn’t give a specific date that i can immediately see, just “August 2005”.   The Ag website does have a 2007 list of Louisiana Food and Non-Food Products. I can’t download those to review right away — this post Katrina dialup puter is so slow. So check them out at your own leisure.