[StBernard] St. Bernard Dock Day to teach fishers direct marketing and ecotourism strategies

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri Mar 28 09:37:34 EDT 2014

St. Bernard Dock Day to teach fishers direct marketing and ecotourism

Print Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By Benjamin
Alexander-Bloch, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
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on March 27, 2014 at 12:25 PM, updated March 27, 2014 at 2:52 PM

The LSU AgCenter is hosting St. Bernard Dock Day on Wednesday (April 2) to
teach fishers direct marketing and ecotourism strategies. The event is
scheduled to be held in eastern St. Bernard Parish at the Los Isleños
Heritage & Cultural Society Museum, 1345 Bayou Rd., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Last March, ecotourism and marketing was discussed at the Stella Plantation
in Plaquemines Parish, with Louisiana fishers, farmers and landowners
hearing how they could use the resources and environmental know-how they
already have to bring in extra money though ecotourism. It showcased the
Stella Plantation as an example of a successful ecotourism model.

The idea in part is that fishers and others, who often struggle to survive
in industries easily besieged by environmental disasters and imports that
drive down prices, could attract city folk from metro New Orleans and across
the nation by offering them a taste of what it's like to live off the land
and water.

At last year's event in Plaquemines, LSU AgCenter fisheries agent for St.
Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes, Twyla Herrington, explained that 38
percent of Americans who are 16 and older participated in outdoor activities
in 2011, an increase of 2.6 million people from 2006, with 11 percent of
that increase in recreational fishing.

Since 2006, outdoor participation in Louisiana has jumped 40 percent, the
second highest increase in the nation. Alaska had the highest increase in
that period, jumping 47 percent, according to a 2011 U.S. Fisheries and
Wildlife Service study.

"Ecotourism fishing is more than just catching the fish -- it is the
experience, it is the culture," Herrington said. "It is like Mardi Gras.
People don't just go to catch that best throws, it's the experience they
come for.

"And for you all, it's not reinventing the wheel, it's working with what
you've already got."

Daryl Jones, the coordinator of the Natural Resource Enterprises Program at
Mississippi State University, weighed in last year on the potential of
natural resources saying 90 million people in the United States participate
in outdoor activities, spending $145 billion a year in the process, with
fishing representing about $42 billion, hunting bringing in $34 billion and
"wildlife watching" accounting for about $55 billion -- "simply showing
people things that we see every day."

In Louisiana, he said, fishing brings in more than $1 billion a year,
hunting about $525 million and wildlife watching nets about $310 million

Topics at the St. Bernard dock day will include adding value to seafood by
focusing packaging and quality, insurance and legal considerations, and
discussions of various financing opportunities.

Presenters also are expected to provide information on Delcambre Direct and
the state seafood certification program.

Delcambre Direct has a website that lets consumers know when fishers are
coming into port and what they are carrying, even sending emails when
fishers dock. In a way, it's a fishers' version of Facebook that features
profiles of local fishers listed by the species they catch. Because of its
success, other area programs have started, including SouthShore Direct.

Donovan Burke, with the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’
Louisiana Wild Seafood Certified Program, said earlier this month at the
Louisiana Fisheries Summit in Houma that the state certification program
“helps us define the Louisiana product so it is a premium product, so people
will demand Louisiana product instead of just any low-end product.”

“Wild-caught Louisiana is being compared to all those lower-priced imported
and farm raised seafood,” Burke said. “It’s all being thrown into the same

Earlier this month, Wildlife and Fisheries launched a new website for that
certification program to help streamline its application. The state
certification program was approved by the state Legislature in 2010.

Those who qualify for the program can use the Certified Authentic Louisiana
Wild Seafood label on their packages. The idea is that the voluntary program
will help encourage better handling practices and thus even higher-quality
seafood in the industry.

Anyone with interest in any of the St. Bernard dock day topics is invited to
attend. For additional information on the event, contact Twyla Herrington at
THerrington at Agcenter.lsu.edu or 504.858.9826.

The St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation, Nunez Community College,
the St. Bernard Tourism Commission, and the state Wildlife & Fisheries
Department also are helping to sponsor the event.

Click here to download dock day schedule
Click here to download St. Bernard dock day flyer (PDF)


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