Many people around here love their shrimp, cooked a myriad of ways, with recipes dating back for generations. Most prefer to buy those crustaceans from local shrimpers.

Withthat in mind, Delcambre Direct Seafood continues working diligently to keep Teche Area shrimpers abreast of the latest innovations, techniques and marketing strategies in the seafood industry.  Area shrimpers and crabbers are taking advantage of that ongoing opportunity, which included a Louisiana Seafood Academy program Wednesday at the Shrimp Festival Building in Delcambre.

Shrimpers, many of them Vietnamese who were able to follow the presentations with the help of an interpreter, heard from John Bell, among other professionals in the seafood industry, who spoke about improving product quality and the key practice of shrimp brine freezing.

“A lot of times they learn things from somebody because that’s the way it’s done and we’re trying to provide science-based approaches to handle the product right and produce high quality,” Bell, a professor of food sciences and seafood specialist at LSU, said in The Daily Iberian. He also is part of Louisiana Sea Grant, a research and education program for coastal resources.

Those Gulf of Mexico resources are valuableand in demandamongarearesidents, DelcambreDirectSeafood’s Leslie Davis said.

“Consumers say it’s important for them to know they are supporting local fishermen. We have some research from a seafood educational organization that shows this is true. This isn’t just a trend we think is happening. It’s supported by research,” said Davis, who led a presentation about marketing and social networks. She is experienced in advertising and public relatons, she said, and eager to help area shrimpers.

So is Anne Dugas, Delcambre Direct Seafood assistant program director. Dugas pointed out at the event this week that Sea Grant supports and teaches shrimpers and other commercial fishermen from different cultures. Vietnamese are an integral part of the Sea Grant “team,” she said, noting the program’s interpreter was part of the community.

The program was “very beneficial,” according to Earl Hebert, a shrimper and crabber for four decades.

“I think the main thing is they’re teaching everybody how to produce the best product,” he said.

For that, seafood lovers and the men and women who provide the seafood can be thankful.

DON SHOOPMAN

SENIOR NEWS EDITOR

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