GSI adds Sysco to list of members

UndercurrentThe Gulf Seafood Institute has added Houston, Texas-based US food distributor Sysco Corporation to its list of members, GSI said in a release.

Read Article

Fish Farming In Gulf Poses Questions And Opportunities

WWNOFor the first time, the Gulf of Mexico is open for fish farming. Fish Farming In Gulf Poses Questions And Opportunities

Companies can apply for permits through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency. Then they can install floating fish cages — like those already in place in state waters off the coasts of Maine, Washington and Hawaii.

Harlon Pearce owns Harlon’s LA Fish, which sells local fish to restaurants and grocery stores across the south. On a recent afternoon his refrigerated warehouse in Kenner was full of them. He pointed to yellowfin tuna, snapper, black drum and sheep’s head. It doesn’t always look this way.

Pearce, who is on the board of the Gulf Seafood Institute, says he freezes a lot of his fish in order to meet continuous demand, but ultimately always runs out. He wants to sell nationwide and contract with big chains, like Red Lobster, but he says, “We never have enough fish to supply the markets. Never.”

Read Article

Gulf red snapper management plan rejected

UndercurrentThe rejection of a red snapper regional management plan in the Gulf of Mexico, amendment 39, was a top concern at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting, Gulf Seafood Institute said in a release.

Read Article

US processors get foreign worker relief

Seafood SourceThe Gulf of Mexico and Eastern U.S. seafood industries got some long-awaited relief after Congress passed its omnibus spending bill that includes H-2B provisions. Seafood processors along the Gulf coast rely on seasonal foreign workers admitted to the U.S under the H-2B visa program to fill the most labor-intensive positions in the industry.

While the H-2B provisions are temporary, the Gulf Seafood Institute and other organizations will continue to work on permanent solutions, which are incorporated in stand-alone legislation recently introduced in the House and Senate. “Preservation of the H-2B visa program will be a top issue as our members ‘Walk on the Hill’ in Washington next month,” said Margaret Henderson, executive director of GSI.

Read Article

GSI’s Margaret Henderson Quoted On H-2B Legislation in Baltimore Sun

Sun-380x59The Gulf Seafood Institute’s (GSI) Executive Director Margaret Henderson was quoted by Baltimore Sun reporter John Fritze in a comprehensive article on H-2B legislation recently passed in the 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill – Maryland seafood survives another round on guest worker program.

Read Article

GSI Members Speak Out on H-2B in New Orleans Times-Picayune

NOLA.comFor a second time in one week, the Gulf Seafood Institute (GSI) is making headlines. In an article for the New Orleans Times-Picayune three members are quoted by reporter Jed Lipinski on the importance of recently passed H-2B legislation for the survival of the Gulf seafood industry – For Louisiana seafood industry, more foreign workers means survival.

Read Article

Electronic monitoring grant a ‘new day in fishery management

Seafood SourceA new USD 2.25 million (EUR 1.99 billion) grant to help get electronic monitoring devices on charter boats in the Gulf of Mexico has a broader implication on U.S. fishery management.

“This is a new day in fishery management,” Harlon Pearce, Gulf Seafood Institute (GSI) board president and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council member, told SeafoodSource. “This will help develop real time-data for the charter boats, and we already have data on the commercial side. It is going to help all fisheries in the Gulf and fisheries management as a whole.”

Read Article

Fishermaen, NGO’s oppose Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery Grab

Seafood SourceSeveral commercial fishing groups and NGOs are up in arms over a new proposal to move Gulf of Mexico red snapper management away from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) to the control of the five states bordering the Gulf.

The proposal dismantles the commercial and charter fishery improvement work that has already been accomplished, said Harlon Pearce, chairman of the Gulf Seafood Institute.

“We worked very hard to get the harvesting component in place, and the fishery has grown. We have not overharvested at all,” Pearce said. “The harvesters and the bulk of charter boats don’t want it to happen. All of the federally licensed vessels I know of don’t want it to happen.”

Read Article

DC Mardi Gras not all fun and games

site-masthead-logo@2xIn other cases, the ability to draw attention to a cause can be vital to the survival of an industry. Take, for example, the Gulf Seafood Institute, which represents both recreational and commercial fisheries.

This year, as it did in 2014, GSI members filled the offices of the Gulf Coast congressional delegation, spreading the message of the economic and environmental importance of the Gulf of Mexico and the seafood industries that it supports.

GSI said it conducted nearly 30 meetings with policy-makers in what the organization called its annual Walk on the Hill.

Read Article

BP offers a lesson in how to sugarcoat an environmental disaster

Latimes-logoThe gulf oyster harvest is today near a historical low. Because oysters take three years to reach maturity, according to the Gulf Seafood Institute, gulf harvesters fear that they’re seeing the oil spill impacts right now. According to historical cycles, oyster landings “currently should be trending upwards; but they’re not.” Is this a consequence of the Deepwater Horizon spill? The most anyone can say is that the jury is still out. But it’s certainly way too early to declare the impact “fiction,” as BP would prefer.

Read Article

Is that Gulf shrimp you’re eating? Oceana study says don’t be so sure

imagesHarlon Pearce, a Louisiana seafood supplier and chairman of the Gulf Seafood Institute advocacy group, said that local seafood providers are working to better advertise their products as wild-caught, Gulf shrimp.

“Nobody likes what that study has to say,” Pearce said. “It’s definitely something that has to change and I think you’ll see that in the Gulf there are lots of efforts to begin that change.”

Pearce cited the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program and other efforts shrimpers are undertaking themselves to make sure seafood markets and restaurants know where their seafood is coming from.

“It’s in the best interest of the Gulf for people to understand what they eat and if it comes from the Gulf,” Pearce said. “It’s not in the best interests of the Gulf or any other part of the country when you’ve got mislabeling going on.”

GSI executive director Margaret Henderson said the findings of Oceana’s study were primarily issues of FDA enforcement.

“Of course it’s troubling information to understand that 30 percent of one of the most popular species is found to be inaccurately labeled,” Henderson said. “Our position, however, is that this shouldn’t be taken as a call for new laws or regulations.

Read Article

Louisiana Shrimpers not Working; Angry Over Low Prices

WWLGulf Seafood Institute President Harlon Pearce says this is a communication breakdown.

“I think that there has to be a better understanding between the processors and the shrimpers about things going on in the marketplace that create these types of changes,” said Pearce.

Read Article

Alligator Hunting Season Opens in Texas

ChronicleHunters in Louisiana went out for their first bites of the fall right before Labor Day.  Third generation gator hunter Lance Nacio caught 24 in one day, according to an interview with Gulf Seafood News.

“Alligators were once an endangered species,” Nacio told the website. “The state has developed programs from the approach that the alligator is a renewable, sustainable natural resource – setting a defined, wild-alligator harvest season and the development of a farm-raised gator program.”

Read Article

Gulf Seafood Institute Hopes to Expand its ‘Brain Trust’

intrafish_comIn just 12 months the Gulf Seafood Institute (GSI) has cemented itself as an essential voice for the area’s fishermen and consumers everywhere and as a “go to” authority to be consulted by US legislators debating any policies concerning the the US Gulf of Mexico seafood industry.

With new executive director, Margaret Henderson, who officially accepted the position last month, the organization is looking at adding new members to help ensure the area’s sustainability, to work with industry leaders, politicians and consumers, and help spread the message of Gulf seafood’s viability.

“We want to be the voice for the entire seafood supply chain for the five Gulf states,” Henderson told IntraFish. “It’s a lofty goal but one that the industry needs. Regionally there’s species specific groups that speak very well on those specific issues, but there are bigger issues that impact consumers and the overall seafood supply chain.”

Full article by subscription only.

Louisiana Oyster Farmer Resorts to Imports After Supply Dries Up

Logo_390x60July 3, 2014 – The dearth of oysters in the Gulf of Mexico of late is pushing oyster companies in the region to look towards imports to build their offerings.

In Louisiana, there has been “hardly anything harvested” in public oyster areas one through seven, which have historically provided 40% of the Louisiana oyster harvest, P&J Oyster Company owner Al Sunseri told Gulf Seafood News.

P&J, which has 130 years of experience selling oysters in Louisiana and is reportedly the state’s oldest oyster dealer, is now considering importing foreign oysters to meet the demand of New Orleans residents and visitors alike. He is one of just a handful of US shellfish companies licensed to import raw shellfish into the US, Sunresi told the newspaper.

Read Article.

Gulf Council Tables Red Snapper Reallocation In Favor Of Sector Separation

Perishable News

July 1, 2014 – Facing opposition on an amendment that would take a portion of the red snapper fishery from Gulf seafood providers for the exclusive use of recreational fishing, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) voted to defer further action on Amendment 28 until a vote has been taken on Red Snapper sector separation which will lay the groundwork for new management options for both the commercial and recreational sectors.

Citing the need for management changes in the recreational sector during its meeting held in Key West, the Council tabled further action on Amendment 28 until a vote is taken on Amendment 40, aimed at partitioning the recreational sector into private and for-hire components; an issue Gulf charter captains have lobbied.

David Krebs, a Florida board member of the Gulf Seafood Institute (GSI) and owner of Ariel Seafood in Destin, will address issues important to the Gulf of Mexico fisheries, as well as east and west coast fisheries.

Read Article.

Despite Higher Quota, Red Snapper Fishery Still Troubled

Seafood SourcePublished on 20 June, 2014 – Buyers of South Atlantic red snapper are pleased that the 2014 red snapper catch limit is more than last season, but the recognize the fishery has other problems to work out.

NOAA Fisheries raised the catch limit from around 21,447 gutted pounds combined for commercial and recreational in 2013 to 50,994 pounds gutted weight for the commercial fishery, which opens 14 July. The daily trip limit for boats is 75 pounds gutted weight, and the season ends when the annual catch limit is projected to be met.

“If anything is going to drop prices, it’s a derby fishery, and they can’t afford a drop in price,” Harlon Pearce, owner of Harlon’s LA Fish and a board member of the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council and the Gulf Seafood Institute, told SeafoodSource. “We need to have more controls than that. They have to be able to fish how and when they want.”

Read Article.

Henderson Replaces Smith as GSI Director

Seafood SourcePublished on 12 June, 2014 – Margaret Henderson, owner of Miami’s Henderson Strategies, a government relations consulting firm, is replacing Ewell Smith as the executive director of the Gulf Seafood Institute. Smith is stepping down from the position.

“Margaret’s skill set is superb working in DC. As I move on to pursue other interests, she will be able to further leverage those long-standing relationships we’ve developed,” Smith told SeafoodSource.

Henderson, who also served as the VP of government relations for the National Fisheries Institute (NFI), has worked with numerous Gulf seafood groups, including the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, the Gulf Oyster Industry Council, the Louisiana Oyster Task Force and the Friends of the Fishermen Foundation.

Read Article.

Gulf Seafood Institute Joins Senator Mary Landrieu in Support of Seafood in Pregnant Moms’ Diets

Saving SeafoodJune 11, 2014 – New moms, and moms-to-be, should eat two to three servings of seafood each week according to a new study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After reviewing ten-years’ worth of science, medical and scientific experts have issued draft advice that is significantly different from previous guidance issued in 2004.

“For years many women have limited or avoided eating fish during pregnancy or feeding fish to their young children,” said Stephen Ostroff, M.D., the FDA’s acting chief scientist. “But emerging science now tells us that limiting or avoiding fish during pregnancy and early childhood can mean missing out on important nutrients that can have a positive impact on growth and development as well as on general health.”

Gulf Seafood Institute’s Executive Director and mother of two, Margaret Henderson said, “We’re happy to see FDA moving in the right direction. Getting accurate advice about seafood to pregnant women is crucial, especially when it’s been wrong for so many years.”

Read article.

Seafood Industry Group Visited the New Orleans Tourism Food Truck in Austin

NOLA.comMay 13, 2014 – The Gulf Seafood Institute, an industry group covering Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi, highlighted the recent visit by a New Orleans tourism-promoting food truck to Austin on its news feed, with a focus on recovery from the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.

The article included Brian Landry, executive chef of Borgne, the John Besh seafood restaurant in New Orleans who traveled Texas with the “Follow Your NOLA” truck last week, talking about the city’s vibrant restaurant industry.

And it quoted Mark Romig, president of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, on efforts to revive the reputation of Gulf seafood after the spill.

“One of the biggest concerns for the city’s tourism commission was how the spill would affect the restaurants and the livelihoods of the people depending upon the seafood industry,” wrote Ed Lallo of Gulf Seafood News. “Millions of dollars were spent of messaging that our restaurants were open.”

Read Article.

Seafood Extravaganza

WWLFriday, 18 April 2014 – Good Friday is about the biggest day of the year for seafood eating in Louisiana, especially for Catholics in New Orleans. Supply is looking good but better bring some extra cash to your favorite fish market. That’s according to Harlon Pearce, chairman of the Gulf Seafood Institute.

”The shrimp and crawfish are going to be high,” said Pearce.

Pearce says if you compare fish to beef prices now, you really shouldn’t worry too much and he says consider the quality.

Read Article.

Gulf Seafood Institute To Testify On Magnuson Stevens

Perishable NewsFebruary 4, 2014 – A four-month old organization whose mission is to protect the Gulf’s unique culture and environment while elevating the Gulf seafood brand has been called by the House Natural Resource Committee to testify on the reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA).

David Krebs, a Florida board member of the Gulf Seafood Institute (GSI) and owner of Ariel Seafood in Destin, will address issues important to the Gulf of Mexico fisheries, as well as east and west coast fisheries.

Read Article.

Gulf Seafood Institute Formed

Seafood SourcePublished on 12 September, 2013 – While he was campaigning for Gulf seafood in Washington, D.C. earlier this summer, Harlon Pearce, former chairman of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and owner of New Orleans-based Harlon’s LA Fish, realized that the Gulf states needed more representation and support.

“It really struck me that we need a stronger advocacy organization. We want to include everyone who touches seafood, whether it is a restaurant, processor, chef, or the end consumer,” Pearce told SeafoodSource. “There is no one group that has an outreach to all these varied interests,” he added.

Read Article.