Louisiana Seafood News
DELCAMBRE - You think you’d find names like Lil Man, Slow Ride and the Miss Brittany G at a local carnival.
Fact is … they are boats tied to the docks at Delcambre, Louisiana – delivering fresh Vermilion white shrimp direct to buyers.
The three boats are a part of a fleet of shrimpers using a successful and innovative program, which allows them to sell large Gulf shrimp to consumers via the web at the port of Delcambre.
Louisiana State University (LSU) Agricultural Center (AgCenter) and Louisiana Sea Grant developed the program. The idea is to help fishermen get premium prices for their catches, and offer the public fresh Vermilion white shrimp “right off the boat.”
Anna and Jimmy Dupre weigh shrimp for a customer’s order. The Dupre’s were one of the first boats to participate in the direct to consumer program.
“You can call and place your order when a boat is still on the water or before a boat goes out,” said Thomas Hymel of the LSU AgCenter and Sea Grant program. “This is allowing fishermen to do what they love and still make a living.”
Buyers visit the website – PortofDelcambre.com – to find when a boat is headed in with fresh seafood. When it docks, they get a product that’s healthy and sustainable, knowing there is no better way to enjoy Louisiana seafood than straight off the boat.
Expanding the Program
More than 20 boats are registered to sell their catch direct as part of the two-year-old program in Delcambre, with expansion being encouraged to other docks around the state.
In 2012, Louisiana Direct Seafood, the marketing initiative administered by LSU Ag Center and Louisiana Sea Grant, expanded operations within the state. Funding is provided by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.
The success of Delcambre Direct convinced stakeholders this project could benefit fishermen – and consumers – along the entire coast. In the past year, LouisianaDirectSeafood.com was developed. Similar direct-sell programs in Lafourche-Terrebonne, Cameron and South Shore–New Orleans were established as well.
Each coastal website posts “fresh catch” messages of what is new on the dock and how to buy.
The program also created an educational video series that goes beyond classroom lecture. This “seafood academy” helps fishermen improve their businesses and seafood product quality.
Jimmie Dupre, of Delcambre, has fished commercially for 55 years. He said the direct sales system is working well for him in selling his catch off his boat, the T-Turbo.
“I’ve get calls from all over,” he said. “Now, I deal strictly with the public.”