Louisiana Lt. Governor and Seafood King Work Boston Show
From: Frozen Foods Biz
The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board was in high profile as an exhibitor during the March 6-8 Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts, holding forth with seven Louisiana-based seafood companies. Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, who oversees the Board, and Chef Michael Brewer, King of Louisiana Seafood, were on the scene when John Saulnier, editorial director of FrozenFoodsBiz.com and fan of Cajun cuisine and Creole cooking, rendezvoused with them on the first day of the show.
“Louisiana is proud to supply nearly a third of US seafood consumed in the country from our extraordinary estuaries,” said Nungesser. “Being a leader in the industry, we have responsibility to stress the health benefits and quality of our product compared to imported counterparts.”
Louisiana is the nation’s second largest seafood producer and home to the biggest commercial fishery in the contiguous Unites States. The Gulf Coast state produces 32 percent of the country’s shrimp and 34 percent of the its oysters. Louisiana’s estuaries, fed by the nutrient-rich Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers, make up the seventh largest estuary in the world, producing high-quality fishery products. With a shoreline stretching 7,721 miles in length, the state has a substantial impact on the seafood industry across the nation.
Since the 1800s, Louisiana has had a thriving commercial seafood industry due to abundant coastal resources and the passion of those in the industry. Whether fishing alone in a hand-made cypress pirogue, or with a crew of family members aboard a 95-foot shrimp boat headed for open water, commercial fishermen are sharing in a Louisiana tradition that has been kept alive for generations. Today, much of their catch is shipped far beyond the state’s boundaries in fresh-frozen and chilled form.
American Seafood Coast Guard on Duty
The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board estimates that consumers in the United States are eating domestic seafood only about 10 percent of the time “due to an absence of labels, mislabeling and misrepresentation of seafood origin.” It has thus enlisted the “American Seafood Coast Guard,” an initiative to address issues associated with imported seafood and better educate domestic consumers about potential health risks involved, as well as how to identify and where to locate high-quality, domestic product.
Meanwhile, the state is doubling down on environmental protection efforts to assure that its valuable fisheries continue to sustain a healthy protein supply, as preserve the many jobs associated with harvesting, processing and distributing the resource.
Lieutenant Governor Nungesser, who previously served as president of Plaquemines Parish and whose father ran a crab processing plant where he worked as a youth, was highly active in Gulf Coast rescue and restoration efforts in the wake of the Deep Horizon Oil Spill in 2016. He has served on the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Planning Commission, and received the Disaster Recovery Contractors Association’s Golden Horizon Award.
British Petroleum (BP) agreed to a $20.8 billion court settlement last year, in which $4.9 billion will be distributed to Gulf states (Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Texas), and up to $1 billion will go to several hundred local governmental bodies, in addition payments of $5.5 billion in federal Clean Water Act penalties, $8.1 billion for natural resource damage, and as much as $700 million to address concerns that are yet to be identified, plus $600 million as compensation for other claims.
Nungesser, referring to the BP payouts as “precious bounty,” said that the money would be invested to replenish coastal fisheries, organize a sustainable harvesting program and fund a robust marketing campaign.
Crab Salad Big Hit at Louisiana Seafood Pavilion
Manning’s New Orleans Restaurant Executive Chef, Michael Brewer, who won the “King of Louisiana Seafood” title after judges tasted his Sheepshead Nachos with Bacon Fat Tartar Sauce and Charred Corn Salsa during the 2015 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off, was front and center in the Boston booth preparing signature recipes that promoted the taste of premium seafood produced in the Pelican State. Assisted by Chef Nathan Richard of the Bombay Club, they made sure that crab salad and other specialty dishes were readily available for show-goers endlessly lining up for samples to taste.
“From the standpoint of restaurateurs, we in Louisiana are blessed to have rich seafood resources with superior flavor, quality and variety in our backyards,” said Brewer. “The fishery products are also available to the rest of the country and the world.”
Louisiana’s fish and seafood bounty runs the gamut from shrimp and crawfish to crab, oysters, catfish, sheepshead and black drum fish, tuna, red snapper, grouper and much more. In fact, over 100 types of fish are harvested from the state’s fertile coastal marshes, Gulf of Mexico estuaries, fresh water ponds, rivers and bayous.
Oh, there’s alligator too! Unlike other meats such as beef or pork, which are streaked through with fat, the fat of an alligator is independent from the meat. It is high in protein and very low in calories, fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.